The best place to play puzzle games is on the go. This is the reason the match-three games have become so popular on mobile phones. These games are simple to pick up and play for as little as a couple of minutes and just as impossible to put down for hours. As time-wasters, there is really no better form of entertainment to be found. Sure, these games on mobile have their downsides, such as questionable monetization practices, but the moment to moment experience is addictive enough to keep players on the hook for long periods of time. The Nintendo Switch is becoming the console for simple and addictive indie puzzle games that are just as addictive as their phone counterparts. Into this marketplace comes the latest simple puzzle game, Flat Heroes, but is Flat Heroes the next addictive time waster? Or will it disappear into an oversaturated and difficult market?
Gameplay: Jump for Your Life
Flat Heroes is a simple game. Players are tasked with taking control of a small square and dancing around numerous projectiles which seek to destroy the little pixel. Many of the puzzles boil down to the simple solution of taking cover in such a way as to have the various projectiles miss the small player controlled square. Usually, this is accomplished with strategic jumping, taking cover behind several geometric platforms encased in a square arena.
At the beginning of every level, the player is given a three-second countdown with just the arena and the cover, giving the player a few seconds to worry about where the projectiles will come. Occasionally, one or multiple walls of the arena will be deadly to the player, reducing the ability to find safety easily. There are multiple different forms of dangerous projectiles such as straight shooting, some with minor target seeking, or even projectiles that run on a track that the player can see. As the player progresses through the 10 worlds, things become decidedly more difficult and crazier. Players must use both logic and fast reactions to complete each of the levels that make up each world.
To make things more difficult, the square doesn’t control as well as it should. There are no tutorials for the player, and the game expects players to figure it out as they go. Unfortunately, there seems to be no scoring system, so there is no reason for players to replay levels with new strategies, so there is no reason to play more once the game is completed unless the player can find a couple of friends for a session of multiplayer.
The Multiplayer mode is essentially just the same levels with more chances. This makes the game easier but is still essentially the same game. Teamwork is detrimental in the later levels as there is often not enough room for all the teammates to fit in the spaces needed to win, so often fights have the possibility of breaking out between the players. There are only bragging rights at stake even though there is no scoring system to speak of.
Graphics: Why Have Colors?
Each world only has a few different colors available for players to look at. It is difficult sometimes to differentiate between what will hurt the players and what is safe to land on. Flat Heroes is not a particularly fun game to look at. There are colors, but the colors that they picked are just flat and uninteresting. The simplicity is a selling point, but other games with simple graphics usually have bright and colorful graphics that are pleasing to the eye.
Hard to Master, but Do You Want To?
Flat Heroes is a very simple to learn game, each level is great for bite-sized gameplay when on the run. There are a plethora of levels that could last players a long time. However, problems will begin to arise for players who want something that may be meatier; or find the game not responsive enough on the whole. For players with a couple of friends, things will be easier as more players are present. The more players the more chances you get to complete a level before having to start over completely. The difficulty in this game is a shield for how little there is to do in this game, so players essentially are tasked with finding their own fun.
- THE GOOD
- Simple to Pick Up
- Bite Sized Levels
- THE BAD
- Boring visuals
- Controls are not Responsive
- Multiplayer has the same levels as single player
Flat Heroes is a very simple to learn game, each level is great for bite-sized gameplay when on the run. There are a plethora of levels that could last players a long time, but the problems will begin to arise for players who want something that may be more meaty; or find the game not responsive enough on the whole. For players with a couple of friends, things will be easier as the more players that are present, the more chances to complete a level before having to start over completely. The difficulty in this game is a shield for how little there is to do in this game, so players essentially are tasked with finding their own fun.
Jonathan Thornburg has been playing games for almost 25 years, and in that time has developed a love for the Gaming Industry. He plays on the PS4 mostly, but can be found indulging in games from the past 25 years as well. He streams on twitch.tv/leftstick and uploads to youtube.com/c/leftstickgaming.