Reviews

Flat Heroes review – A Multidimensional Hit

Developer and Publisher Parallel Circles have blessed the gaming community with the advent of Flat Heroes. In what seems a familiar approach to the puzzle genre, Flat Heroes re-writes the rule book by bringing fast paced bullet hell-like gaming mechanics with up to 4 player functionality.

Players control a square that can double jump around one of Flat Heroes 150 levels. Being a cunning Square, players can also execute small blast attacks which quickly expand from the center of our cubic protagonist. This come into play on applicable projectiles that can be destroyed by the attack and also in VS mode, we’ll get to that later.

As previously mentioned, Flat Heroes campaign mode contains 150 levels spread across 10 worlds. Whilst players are concentrating on the various hazards at play, the levels themselves can electrify players. This clever mechanic forces gamers into the fray and pushes skill development, this then leads to looking for patterns within said minefield to overcome the levels challenges in surprising ways.

Cubic Balancing

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Flat Heroes strikes a perfect balance of difficulty. Whilst certain levels will most definitely result in multiple deaths, levels are delivered in short bursts thus curing any danger of rage quits and general level fatigue. For those who can’t quite cure their difficulty itch and desire more punishment, the Campaign Heroes mode can be unlocked for more challenging variants of the games existing levels.

This reviewer found Flat Heroes aforementioned emphasis on strategy a most sophisticated one. No matter how crazy levels may seem, there is a pattern to each levels attacks buried deep within its bullet hell majesty. In fact, there are multiple ways to beat any level excluding boss battles. The patterns here are more predefined however provide a much bigger challenge.

A World of Campaign

Whilst the campaign mode in Flat heroes supports single player mayhem to a high standard, the game has been marketed as a 4 player party title. This reviewer found the multiplayer experience overall delightful; Playing a game that doesn’t need to variate its structure to compensate for more players is very refreshing. Certainly as multiplayer level progression gets better and better with every world conquered. A limit of 4 players feels like a natural one and provides a balanced experience overall.

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Survival Mode and naturally VS mode also support up to four players, the only limit to Flat Heroes party status is how many joy cons punters have lying around (But seriously, maximum of four…). Flat Heroes’ Survival mode is not the simple vanilla challenge mode we are all accustomed too. Daily challenges are uploaded to the game servers to keep gameplay fresh. This goes without saying, but Flat Heroes survival mode gets very hectic and fast!

Modes, Modes and Modes

VS Mode comes in four flavours:

  • Runner: tag an opposing player with projectiles
  • Zones: Hold a designated area for an allotted time
  • Battle: Face off against other players and destroy them as soon as possible
  • Catch: Could be likened to PAC-MAN on a sugar rush. Collect randomly generated tokens, the player with the most in the allotted time wins.

Although one didn’t spend as much time as one liked in VS mode, it was a brilliant experience that has game night written all over it. This reviewer hasn’t had this much fun with a multiplayer title in years.

Aesthetically, Flat Heroes could have been released (albeit a limited version) on the original Atari with various greats such as ‘pong’. The presentation is so minimalist it could be done. However; Seeing Flat Heroes smooth as Ice frame rates makes this reviewer glad it is a current generation release. This unique approach to models, textures and effects made this reviewer remember what he loved about gaming. A good game doesn’t depend on Ultra HD presentations to provide hours of entertainment, Flat Heroes Illustrates this perfectly. The soundtrack is an upbeat but euphoric trip to bit-chip town a la N++, which one wouldn’t mind having on his Spotify Playlist.

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Verdict:

Graphics and Presentation: 5

Sound: 4

Gameplay: 5

Overall Score 4.7/5

Flat Heroes is the complete package for Action – Puzzler enthusiasts. It’s balance of strategy and difficulty makes for a compelling and hard to put down bullet hell experience. It’s minimalist style and overall presentation adds to its character as a must have single player or couch party experience.

Platforms: Nintendo Switch (Reviewed)

Release Date: 02/08/2018

Price: £8.99 (eShop)

Publisher: Deck 13

Developer: Parallel Circles

Pegi Rating: 3+

Review copy provided by publisher

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