As the current climate of the gaming industry continues to evolve, so too do the games that travel along with it, and we’re constantly seeing innovative ideas take centerstage and create new avenues for gamers to discover. The indie gaming scene as an example has really catapulted into popularity over the last several years, giving companies who wouldn’t normally receive the same spotlight as the more notable companies, more opportunities to shine. We’re seeing a shift in the way gamers think and feel about the games they play, and with how things are shifting, it’s quite evident that indie games provide players with a truer sense of freedom.
This brings us to Flat Heroes, a unique take on the action gaming genre that focuses more on the gameplay and less on the fluff. Marketed as a minimalist action arcade game, Flat Heroes takes players on an adventure that’s seemingly easy at first... but as you swim deeper into each world you’ll find an enormous amount of challenge awaiting. Any Nintendo Switch owner who enjoys a simple yet stimulating experience should take a look at Flat Heroes and experience a game that you’re not likely to find anywhere else.
What to Expect
Those who’ve grown up in the early era of the gaming sphere will most definitely take a liking to the gameplay of Flat Heroes, since it combines modern day concepts with a retro appeal. The minimalistic approach to gameplay is actually what makes it so fun because your mind isn’t engulfed by over the top visuals or special effects; instead, your focus is planted solely on completing each world avoiding obstacles along the way. There are no real “enemies”as no one is attacking you with a weapon or magic powers, but rather you’re sort of the enemy. Why? Well, because the game requires your full attention and with all of these blocks and random shapes attacking you simultaneously, it becomes more of a test of hand-eye coordination, reaction, and patience to successfully complete missions.
Every world you venture to will have new strategies that you’ll need to figure out and obstacles that will put your patience to test. You can even play the game locally with a friend and avoid every obstacle together with over 300 levels, all handcrafted to ensure that quality comes before quantity. With so much to explore and overcome in Flat Heroes you’ll be spending a lot of time grinding away, figuring out the best solutions and celebrating when it all works in your favor.
Visually speaking, Flat Heroes makes excellent use of vibrant colors that keep you focused entirely on the screen. Reds, Yellows, Greens, Blues, and all the hues you can possibly think of are used within the game. In doing so it becomes more appealing to the eye since everything is very simple but stands out in a very vivid way. As we said before, there are no real special effects or CGI cutscenes; Flat Heroes is from start to finish a game that focuses primarily on what’s happening in-game. The UI is also simplified and while playing there’s nothing else on screen except for your hero, and the obstacles that lie in front of you.
Continuing on the theme of simplicity, Flat Heroes also boasts a very clean yet robust soundtrack that’s very pleasing to the ears if you play with headphones on. Its retro-esque appeal lends a helping hand in this area and provides players with a very fun-loving atmosphere that reels you in the longer you play. There’s really no reason to risk putting extra work into a soundtrack when you can keep things truly minimal, and give players the chance to enjoy the experience.
Gameplay itself is all about survival, while at the same time having a ton of fun doing so. Flat Heroes conveys a very powerful message in its simple aesthetic and it’s that, you don’t need to invest millions of dollars into a game to make it sell, let alone make it fun to play. We’re not throwing shade at the developers that do go above and beyond financially but it’s quite clear that with enough ingenuity and a little child-like appeal, you can go above and beyond in the most simplistic way. Every world in Flat Heroes poses a new challenge every time and it’s up to you to figure out the patterns. Some may be quite obvious off the bat and you’ll most likely clear that world with relative ease. It’s when you get to the 12th and 13th worlds that things start to get a little more interesting and now your brain starts to turn on. Playing the game alone is truly a fun ordeal and never fails to disappoint, even towards the final stages of the game. It all feels fresh and invigorating and to be honest is a great way to kickstart the day, because it gets the brain working. In a way, Flat Heroes feels more like an action puzzle title because there’s always an exciting turn of events that await you down the road.
While the controls are responsive it’s all about how to respond to everything in front of you. If you become frustrated the game really tests you big time but if you manage to keep your cool and go with the flow, the overall experience is more profound. It certainly feels great in your hands too with the Nintendo Switch handheld mode. While TV mode is an experience of its own, taking the game on the go is truly fun! If you like titles such as Super Meat Boy then Flat Heroes will surely excite you!
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
Much like the game itself, our review is quite simple and straight to the point. We don’t need to add anymore fluff because the point is very clear; Flat Heroes is a game that takes the simple charms of an action game and puts you into a colorful world that tests you with every movement you make. It’s not trying to win game of the year or anything but one thing’s for certain, it will win over your heart if you play it with an open mind and truly enjoy every stage you encounter. The boss battles are truly a blast and even though you may lose several times, coming back with a better strategy is really what makes it all fun. Simple gameplay but with so much depth to it!
Simplicity is luxury.
Great use of colors.
Gameplay is always exciting and stimulating.
Not everyone may enjoy the experience.
Honey's Final Verdict:
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Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.
A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!