Confusing your understanding of volume and area, Flat Pack is an unique puzzle platformer that explores 2D gaming on the sides of boxes. It gets you to defy gravity, dodge from death assuring traps and satisfying victory after completing each level. This is an enjoyable game that is waiting for the approval of your fingertips.
Nitrome, an outstanding indie video game company developed and published this game for Android and IOS devices. They are quite known for their speciality in 2D platformers in games like “Platform Panic” and “Leap Day”. The Nitrome crew has been waiting to create a game like this; they had been wanting to explore what they could do their talent of 2D platformers and the reputable 3D environment. Nitrome is consistently awarded with many compliments of their games and Flat Pack sure does give them another boatload of them.
You play as an unnamed yet quirky bandana wearing, propeller armed character that seems to be stuck in the faces of many cubes and prisms. You acquire the ability to move the character on flat platforms through swipes and hop upwards with taps. These controls tend not to be the greatest, since you have to switch to one action to another, but you can still maneuver around the world efficiently. The main objective of the game is to collect six golden cube pieces that once are collected altogether, it will open a portal that advance you to the next level. These pieces are scattered across each level, usually surrounded by a obstacle that you have to solve to continue the game. Each level secretes a star, and if all stars are collected, you get a ticket to a secret ending!
So far the game sounds simple, right? Collect all the pieces, complete the level and you get to move on with your life. But what is a fun game without challenge? Besides the beginner levels, Flat Pack offers fairly difficult obstacles and a huge array of traps and casualties to challenge you. From stomping enemies blocking your path to meat slicing razors that will cut you to pieces in just seconds. The design of the 3D aspect of the game also does a number on the simplicity of the game. Like the level, “Death Pyramid”, where rows of cubes form a pyramid like formation, each row consisting a fast, punishable block , that can reach you faster as you go up each row. Even if you died a couple of times in a level, the game saves the amount of pieces you collected, so you won’t find the game annoying. By moving through faces in a rotating direction, you have the ability to shift gravity and access parts of the level, you could not touch before. This feature really gives a improvement in the puzzles. The puzzle portion of the game is quite excellent, each level is unique, acquiring a new challenge that are waiting for you to solve.
Another great feature of Flat Pack, is its AR(augmented reality) mode, only available for IOS currently. The controls and the basic game is the same, it is only the source of the camera that has changed. When you play the game in AR mode, your phone controls the view of the level. You control the viewing of the map, which is a interesting experience to visualize, especially for the game’s unique mechanic of playing a 2D game over the surface area of a 3D object. However, in order to operate AR mode to full potential, you must stand up from your probably comfortable seat. There is currently one level for AR mode, it is quite an intriguing experience. It feels like you have the game physically in your room, like you can touch it with your bare hands, but is only an illusion. This is a great feature for Apple’s new ARkit, which is exclusively for apple devices.
The visuals are cute and creative, especially the enemies. They have adorable little hats on top of their heads which makes what you want to run up and snuggle them up, but only realizing that they are here to end your existence, you regret hugging the eye-appealing creatures. The characters and platforms are pixelated, which does not mean it has bad graphics. The characters are not very detailed, but more simple, which gives advantage for the pixel art and this is a similar aspect of the platforms. The background of the game gives a mysterious vibe, with a palette similar to space and the various cubes and irregular shapes floating about.
The animation is quite appealing with its smooth frame rate and interesting character art. The player animation has flexible transitions, especially the deaths. When the characters or enemies die, they transfer from 2D to 3D, flying out of the cube, falling into internal peril. The music gives the game a jazzy feel, a steady beat of pace. It might remind you of puzzle games, with its quirky tone. The music may also be somewhat nostalgic, especially the player’s death; the music slows down, giving a quick death tone beat, and ends with a eerie, electronic pulse.
Flat Pack offers a great number of challenges and diversity in its levels, giving the player more to explore. You can easily download on your Apple and Android device, it has some ads, but it is all worth it! Nitrome really outdone themselves with this game, especially a 3D game, which is rare to see from them. It may have some flaws but is an excellent puzzle game that grants satisfying gameplay, from all edges and sides.