Flat Heroes

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Key Info

System: Switch
Developer: Parallel Circles
Publisher: Deck 13
Release Date: 2 August 2018
Price: $9.99 / £8.99


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Reviewed by Gary Gray

Flat Heroes is, in fact, anything but flat, as the hectic puzzle platformer has bags of charm and depth beneath its minimalist appearance.

Playing as a plain coloured square, the game has you bouncing, dodging and deflecting projectiles in a bid to survive threats thrown at you from all directions. Using the walls and platforms to survive is essential as your little cube only has a small reflective shield for defence, however it does have another set of survival abilities including a boost and a Spiderman-like ability to stick to walls.

Pure and Simple

Simple right? Well, yes in terms of controls. They’re very responsive and executed to a near-perfect feel, as well as being simple enough for anyone to jump in and play. But where Flat Heroes really comes to life is the clever threats that try to shatter your little cube, from homing missiles to bullet hell-style waves of enemies, each has their own patterns and behaviours to learn. Combining all of that together reveals a level of clever strategy that I didn’t think I’d see, and you soon gain an appreciation for just how tight and responsive the simple controls are.

While the mechanics and enemy types and introduced at a slow and steady pace, there’s a good couple of levels that had me pulling my hair out with insanely hard difficulty spikes that took many attempts to overcome. Luckily, Flat Heroes has a rapid re-spawn time that makes those harder sections easier to swallow.

Each level is micro in size most taking less than a minute to finish, however there’s a tonne of them on offer, keeping Flat Heroes going for a good while. 15 levels make up a world in the main campaign, in which there are also 15. Level 15 of each world is a boss fight offering a greater challenge, with each one fitting the rhythm of the levels perfectly.

Where Flat Heroes really shines though is with it’s multiplayer content. As well as offering a whole heap of modes such as Battle, Runner, Zones and Catch, each offers a unique and fun challenge. However, it’s Survival that really drew my attention the most.

I’m A Survivor

As the title suggests, the aim is to survive for as long as you can as wave after wave of attacks come your way. With the ability to revive other players, Survival really does become a team effort, as well as insanely hectic the further you get through. The main campaign mode is also playable in multiplayer - by far the best way to play it, as those harder sections are much easier when only one player has to survive.

Visually, the minimalist look of Flat Heroes is clean and polished with some neat little animation effects that emphasise it’s look. While there’s admittedly not much to look at, unlockable colour palettes that change the background and the cubes give you some way to mix up the aesthetics as you progress.

Although you probably won’t get any of Flat Heroes’ soundtrack stuck in your head, it fits with the style and gameplay, with its equally minimalist yet upbeat electronica that really ties the package together

Verdict

Flat Heroes is a multiplayer masterpiece with more than a handful of modes. Single player is solid and enjoyable too, but the multiplayer content is where it’s at. The game has quickly become a go-to party game for some quick and enjoyable matches.

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Pros & Cons

+ Amazing multiplayer
+ Tight controls
+ Plenty of content

- Tough difficulty spikes
- Lack of visual variety

Gary GrayFComment