Flat Heroes is a refreshingly beautiful, yet simple take on the 2D platformer genre. It’s easy to play and even easier to look at. The way each level increases in difficulty is a wonderful contrast to the overall simplicity of the of the game itself.
Flat Heroes is a platformer in its truest form. You play as a square that jumps from one surface to the next, avoiding your enemies’ attacks. You also have a force attack you can use when some enemies get too close. Coming into contact with any foe will instantly kill our 4 sided hero.
One of the first things you may notice about Flat Heroes is how easy it is to play. The second thing you will notice is how challenging this game truly is, and that’s half the fun. Each of the 10 “Worlds” is broken up into 15 levels. After beating the first set of levels you unlock the “Heroes” mode; which gives each campaign level a more difficult counterpart. This, along with the survival and versus modes give us well over 300 levels. Every one of these 300+ handcrafted levels is different from the last; which leads to the player having to quickly adapt to new scenarios. With each level lasting less than 12 seconds, you barely have time to enjoy how neat each level looks. Sometimes I wished the levels were a bit longer so I could have more time to enjoy the way all the colors look dancing across the screen.
After completing a set of levels, the color palette would change to represent the new “World”. Each world offers new challenges and new lessons to learn. At the end of every world is a Boss level. These boss levels have the player take what they’ve learned over the last 14 levels, and puts it to the test. After landing the killing blow on a boss, the game goes into a super slow-mo sequence as the enemy explodes into tiny pieces, bouncing off of every surface in its path. These moments of slow motion allow the player to take a quick breather, before facing the next set of challenges. These slow-mo bits reminded me of the scene in The Last Jedi where General Holdo jumped to lightspeed and tore through the first order ship, and they are just as elegant.
If at any point you feel like you’ve had enough of Flat Heroes’ campaign mode, just hop on over to the survival mode. Survival mode pits you against increasingly difficult challenges as you do your best to hold out against your geometric foes. With the Daily challenge mode, the test is always fresh and new. All the available game types in Survival mode are globally ranked. I really enjoy this feature; it gave a numerical value to my skill level (currently 291st in the world).
This game takes away everything you thought you needed in a 2D platformer. The main character is a square… A LITERAL SQUARE. The enemies are just other shapes, that for some reason or another want you dead. Maybe this is just a top down version of John Wick. The main objective: dont die, and make it to the end. It leaves us with the bare bones of a video game, and I enjoyed almost every second of it. I only found one level too difficult to complete, so I took advantage of the level skip feature. This is just further evidence that indie studios have what it takes to compete with the triple A studios.
The music in Flat Heroes is pretty great as well; it pairs nicely with the rest of the game. By having the same music follow you from the start it makes the entire experience that much more seamless. I would have liked to see more musical variety overall; otherwise, this was a great way to tie the entire game together.
Of all the platformer games I’ve played in my life Flat Heroes easily dances its way into a top spot joining games like Shovel Knight, Metroid Fusion, and Super Meat Boy. I cannot recommend this game enough. If you’re a fan of fun challenging 2D platformers then you need to play Flat Heroes. This is just another example of great indie games can actually be.