Circle, Triangle, Square. No this isn’t your 1st grade art class over again, instead, it is the basis for everything you will do in Flat Kingdom. Flat Kingdom is a 2D platformer where you play as Flat, a small 2D shapeshifter, whose world is being infected with 3D Objects. You will face various enemies and puzzles throughout your journey, and make sure you keep the “shape continuum” in mind.
Published by: Games Starter
Developed by: Fat Panda Games
Reviewed on: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: April 1st, 2022
The entire basis of Flat Kingdom is based on the simple concept that circle beats square, square beats triangle, and triangle beats circle. There is no attack button in this game; you simply kill enemies by bumping into them in the correct shape. If you use the incorrect shape, they can hurt you. The square is a big bulky shape. You weigh the most while playing as a square, and can push objects around. The triangle is the fastest shape, whose speed can help you run away from (or toward) danger. The circle can jump higher than either of the other two and is the most “well rounded” of them all.
Most of your time in Flat Kingdom will be spent working your way through various puzzles and fighting enemies. At times, it can be extremely difficult to figure out what you are supposed to be doing. The game is never too difficult, but sometimes figuring out what you are supposed to do can feel like the most challenging part of the game. Almost every level culminates in a boss fight. While these vary somewhat, they don’t bring anything earthshattering to the game either. Flat Kingdom is fun to play through, but it doesn’t introduce anything to the genre that you haven’t seen before.
There is a story that I don’t want to spoil, but suffice to say it won’t be your main source of enjoyment for this game. It’s there, it happens, but the game isn’t really long enough for it to develop in any way that you really start to buy into. I don’t think this is an inherently bad thing, it just isn’t something you will find yourself writing home about.
Personally, I thought the design of this game is a super intriguing concept. Many 2D platformers have introduced elements of 3D before, but Flat Kingdom’s integration of it was really neat. The 3D elements really pop from the screen at moments, and it feels like a natural integration. Furthermore, graphics look clean, and the color pallet makes for some really appealing scenes. The art style somewhat reminded me of the Paper Mario games, and I thought that was inherently a good choice.
Flat Kingdom - Paper Cut Edition: A serviceable platforming experience
If you are looking for a budget platforming game that provides a serviceable platforming experience, Flat Kingdom is your game. It has a cool base concept and provides a few hours of enjoyment. It is certainly not revolutionary by any means, but that doesn’t make it not a fun time. I think a little more polish when it comes to level design and instructions could go a long way. If this series gets a second installment, I think a lot of lessons learned from the game, combined with the “rock paper scissors” type base concept could allow for something groundbreaking in the genre.