Before testing it, we did not intuit what we were going to find, but it has ended up becoming one of the platform titles of the year … and probably a new reference in its genre. And the best thing is that he does it without needing to imitate anyone, but he finds his own style. We tell you in our analysis of Flat Heroes.
There are video games designed to put you to the test, so you can see how easy it is to fail and how complicated it is to succeed. Flat Heroes is one of those video games. According to its own makers, it is inspired by classics such as Super Meat Boy. But not so much for its difficulty, but for its incredible ability to get you not to give up. That when you lose your life, do not give yourself time to consider leaving it, because before you have thought about it, you are back in action.
That is the key to the work of the Spaniards of Parallel Circles. They propose a level of challenge that is triggered within a few minutes of starting your game, but it does so in such a way that you feel eager to continue. The game never teaches you a game of Game Over, but in thousandths of a second, you’re there again, with your square, handling it with micrometric precision. Because that is the second great success of the game: its extraordinary control, with a simply apotheosis response.
Thus, with two principles so basic but forceful, Flat Heroes proposes a campaign of hellish difficulty but tremendously satisfactory. The level design is inventive and presents variety. The graphics aspect is minimalist, functional, but tremendously effective. The sound reacts to everything that happens on the screen in a masterly way. It is the work of three people. It has been developed in three years of continuous trial and error, thanks to its “early access” model. It has hardly any budget, neither for promotion campaign … and probably you have not heard much about it. But it is already here, and it has surprised us. Very much.
A master platformer
To understand Flat Heroes, nothing better than talking about its developers. Roger Valldeperas and Lucas González are programmers, one specialized in gameplay and the other in graphics. This explains the approach followed in development. It’s pure gameplay, no frills. We drive to a square that can jump, stick to walls, give an impulse in the air, attack … and little else. The rest is built through closed scenarios, one after the other, through 10 worlds, with more than a hundred levels, including final bosses.
But let’s get back to the key of the matter: programming. The game presents different patterns for each level, and these are designed in such a way that they offer great variety and a progressive challenge curve. In the beginning, they will be simple lines that come for us and we have to dodge. Then points that chase us until they explode. Arrows that follow our trail incessantly, dodging the obstacles that are in its path. The first level of each world is responsible for presenting what we are going to find, and from there go combining challenges, curling the curl up to the final boss that saves each world.
The developers told us that the design of these bosses was a continuous trial and error, to the point that they rejected some for their difficulty, or directly changed the world, to make the adjustment of the challenge more just and satisfactory for the user. We have noticed this when we have played, and we can confirm that the challenge set is worked. Although beyond the world 8 the effort becomes titanic, it is not impossible to overcome it, and that is the best … You feel like a hero once the feat is done.
Flat Heroes raises us a campaign of hellish difficulty but tremendously satisfactory
Another of the best attributes of Flat Heroes is that you can play in a company. Up to four players can join to overcome the campaign. All add up, none subtract. This means that it is only necessary for one to survive so that each level is surpassed, which makes the title a little more pleasant. In this regard, mention that Nintendo Switch becomes the ideal platform to play cooperatively, given its nature. The portable mode, as we are, works very well, although we recommend the TV screen, the bigger the better. It is like more is enjoyed.
We dare not say how long the campaign lasts. It could be a couple of hours, but it depends on the skill of each player. You could get stuck on one level, repeat another day, continue without hitting, and once overcome, get stuck on another more advanced screen. It all depends. If we talk about the heroic mode, a variant of the main campaign, the thing is even more complicated, because its challenge is unsettling from the levels of the first world: a challenge for true experts in Flat Heroes.
However, there are more game elements. We have the survival mode, which under different perspectives invites us to resist the longer the better within the same scenario, while the challenges increase gradually. We also have the versus mode, with four variants that are unlocked as we play. We even have the detail that you can fight against AI enemies if we do not have anyone at that time next. There is no online beyond the classic markers. Honestly, this is a title that is enjoyed more locally, seeing the face of your friends and sharing live commentary.
But that is above all we said at the beginning: Flat Heroes is an excellent programming work, both playability and visual. Do not stay only with the screens that accompany this article. You have to watch the video game in motion and appreciate the enormous work behind it. The control is an absolute delight and it’s nice how our square is animated as well as the rest of the elements, with a lot of details, including the vibration of the screen when something hits a wall.
The exquisite use of colors and their combination join a very clean interface that causes us to pay attention to the most important thing: the gameplay. Once inside the video game, it is difficult to leave. Do you want to stay? And that’s what matters. But we also have to talk about things that we have not liked so much. There is an episode of repetition in the phases, and the difficulty is unfair at times, even if they are minimal, they prevent us from talking about a completely round game. The music could also have offered a bit more variety, and by asking … the set could have been finished off with some kind of mission or achievement system.
But beyond that, Flat Heroes is the confirmation that the independent scene is still very alive and current, also in Spain. The three people involved in this launch show that, with few resources, it is possible to create a great video game. All squeezing their respective potentials, what they dominate. It is an ingenious work that, although difficult to sell (as they claim), we assure you that it is very worthwhile.
Recommended: Download Mordheim APK – Version 1.8
Probably the best thing about Flat Heroes is that it does not look like anything. Its minimalist scheme, with challenging levels, precise gameplay, and tremendous variety, raise a different platform game, with the campaign, survival mode and even competitive. Its unquestionable playable and visual charm join the possibility of cooperative play up to four people under a unique dynamic, consisting of all add up and no one subtracts. All this, together, results in a real surprise platformer, one of the best of the year.
- Accurate, intuitive and completely satisfactory control
- Design of minimalist but exemplary and varied levels: it is pure playability
- High level of challenge, especially the final heads
- A cooperative for up to four people very well resolved
- A good repertoire of modalities: campaign, survival and versus
- The visual section is a delight, with careful use of colors
- The difficulty is sometimes unbalanced, resulting in something frustrating
- A system of achievements, missions or collectibles would have given more life to the title