Flat Kingdom: Paper Cut Edition is an adorably realized game that draws obvious inspiration from the Paper Mario series. With a fun score, simple gameplay, and beautiful artstyle, it’s hard not to feature Flat Kingdom as an indie game that earns some extra attention from gamers.
Flat Kingdom begins quickly, showing that the princess is kidnapped and you, as a small little defender of peace, must find her. The conceit of this game is that Flat Kingdom focuses on the geometry of every character in the game, placing them in one of three categories: circle, square, and triangle. These shapes act as a rock-paper-scissor mechanic for enemy encounters as well as cornerstones when solving various puzzles.
Additionally, your character has the ability to transform into three different forms, matching the three geometric shapes from before – each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Square form, for example, can endure various projectiles without damage, but moves very slowly and has an inconsequential jump. Traversing through the levels and figuring out what the optimal strategy was a fun time and offered some cool transformation sequences to master.
Though the transformations and puzzles are a fun excursion, the platforming, unfortunately, was a bit frustrating. Timing with jumps felt imprecise and oftentimes frustrated me to repeat the same effort several times. Luckily, those moments were few and far between, and become less frustrating as you earn abilities to mitigate.
But by far, my favorite element of the game was the visuals. The 2D paper art style, with moments of 3D, and the cross between fairytale and medieval really resonated with me. Levels were bright and vibrant, enemies were fun to look at for their details, and background details were a feat to see. Hats off to Fat Panda Games and their art team for an incredible visual feast.
Overall, Flat Kingdom: Paper Cut Edition is a fun 5-hour puzzle-platformer that can give you a small-time Paper Mario experience with an extra bit of transformations. The geometric approach to puzzles is a nice touch, albeit a bit simple, but is just enough to keep you on your toes. This comes wholly recommended and I look forward to gushing about it with you all soon!
A copy of the game was provided for PlayStation 4/5 by the publisher for the purposes of this coverage.
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