Flat Kingdom is a platforming adventure game developed by Fat Panda Games and is available on iOs, Android, and Steam. Sadly, I did not actually run into any fat pandas during my play time.
This game definitely has quite a bit of charm to it. Right off the bat, I loved the voice acting in the introduction cut-scene and the art style as well as the music. Reminded me a lot of Little Big Planet and I absolutely adored that game. I really wish there was some more voice acting because that was seriously a great intro which I feel actually was better than some voice acting done on bigger budget titles (looking at you, Blade & Soul NA/EU).
The mechanics in this game is very interesting: you play as Flat, who has the ability to transform into one of three shapes at any given time. Default is circle, which gives normal movement speed and double jump. Then you have triangle mode, which is super fast speed akin to Sonic when going full sprint but a much lower jump height. Finally, square mode which is your defensive mode with extremely reduced movement speed, virtually no vertical on the jump, and able to push giant pillars with your butt.
Now, this world is governed on the basis of rock (circle) -> paper (square) -> scissors (triangle) and your enemies are designed to match one of those patterns geometrically so all you have to do is quickly swap to the correct form and touch them to either kill or stun them. Yes, it’s actually reverse RPS but just remember the shapes and you’ll be fine. I will say, there are a lot of hostile cute animals and I kind of felt bad when I plowed through them as a triangle or just rolled over them as a circle. Those weak to square pretty much deserve to die like spiders, hornets, and some piranha plant looking thing out of Mario.
Each level is rather expansive and there are quite a few different pathways you can take. They all lead to the same place, but there are coins you may want to collect if you’re into that. Checkpoints are aplenty, coin collection is permanent, and you don’t have a limitation on lives so if you traveled a great distance and hit a dead end and don’t want to walk back, you can just kill yourself. However, if you leave the level entirely, you will have to start from the beginning but the coins still count (thank you, devs!).
The boss design is rather interesting and definitely will take a few tries before figuring out how to kill them. I love the Megaman-esque feel before each boss fight where you just travel through a short corridor and enter the main room. Plus, you have infinite lives so there’s no fear of messing up and having to start from the beginning again – it’s all about experimentation! This game is not one you can rush through since there are so many things that stop you dead in your tracks such as pit falls and thorns.
Lets go back to the overall design real quickly: the look and feel is truly reminiscent of Little Big Planet that gives you a sense of wonder and desire to explore the world around you. The sound design is great and each of Flat’s different shapes has its own personality and charm to it. Compared to everything else, you are just a simple little doodle and yet you are the hero the King calls upon to save the kingdom and his daughter. If I had to guess, I would say there was some inspiration gathered from Sonic here: the way triangle form moves with the spinning legs and the story about 6 jewels sealing away evil/protecting the kingdom (Chaos Emeralds, anyone?). That being said, the story seems pretty generic but it’s more so how the story is presented nowadays that matters and how personable characters are and this game nails it. Easy to just pick up and play, so go check it out already!
See you next game! -DecoyEC has logged out.