Flat Kingdom: paper’s Cut Edition is a puzzle-platformer game by Fat Panda Games. It was originally released on PC in 2016 and now it is headed to consoles, including PS4 and PS5. The game takes place in the Flat Kingdom, a world where the peace has been shattered by a sneaky thief who has stolen some jewels and kidnapped Flat Kingdon’s Princess.
Flat Kingdom Review – Reviewed on PS5
Flat Kingdom: Paper’s Cut Edition has been brought to consoles in conjunction with publisher Ratalaika Games. Who are famous for their easy platinum trophy games. Flat Kingdom certainly falls into the easy platinum category but, it is also a rather charming and unique little platforming puzzler.
The story of Flat Kingdom: paper’s Cut Edition is pretty run of the mill. Princess gets kidnapped, a guy steals an important and powerful jewel, you need to save the day.
A long time ago, the Flat Kingdom was threatened by the wicked Third dimension. Just when all hope was lost, a wise sorcerer appeared and created six magical jewels, keeping the dimensions stable and restoring the peace. But one day, the masked thief Hex kidnapped the princess, also taking one of the jewels with him. That caused the 3D chaos to come back, putting the Kingdom in serious danger again.
When everything seemed to be lost, King Square thought about the only one who could fix this mess. His name was Flat, a little but brave 2D doodle-like creature that had the ability to change shapes at will, that way he can overcome all kinds of obstacles and beat the geometric foes.
Pretty regular stuff story-wise but Flat Kingdom: Paper’s Cut Edition has a nice unique way of tackling puzzles and combating enemies. Your ability to change shapes.
Flat, The Shapeshifter
If you hadn’t guessed already, you play as flat, the 2D doodle-like creature who can change shapes at will. In a way, Flat Kingdom is a very apt game for PlayStation consoles. As the shapes that Flat can change into are Square, Circle and Triangle.
The ability to change shapes is very important to tackle the game’s puzzles. As well as for killing or stunning any enemy creatures that you come across. With combat, it’s kind of like rock, paper scissors. Enemies will have a certain ‘shape’ and you have to change shapes to beat them. Circle beats square, triangle beats circle and square beats triangle.
It sounds pretty simple, and in a way it is but changing shapes to either square, triangle or circle also has the effect of empowering Flat with other abilities. The combat is really straightforward, for example in one level little triangle fish swim at you, and all you have to do is change shapes to square and let them run into you. They will die instantly.
However, for puzzle-solving, you have to use the abilities or traits that each shape has. For example, changing to the square shape makes Flat really heavy and strong, so he can move heavy obstacles. However, it also makes him really slow, so not good at avoiding falling objects.
The Triangle shape makes Flat really fast and it also has a dash ability. But it’s no use for moving underwater. The circle shape is the shape form you will probably be in most of the time. It’s the kind of in-between shape. With the circle shape, you can move reasonably fast and you have a double jump. So it is pretty much essential for traversing the game’s many platforming levels.
Flat Kingdom: Paper’s Cut Edition also features quite a few boss fights. Whereas the combat with regular enemies is pretty straightforward, I found myself having to use if shape in my arsenal to defeat some of the bosses.
In one memorable boss encounter, I had to double jump and climb my way up to the top of some platforms. Using the speed of a triangle to avoid enemies and incoming fire and then double jump, quickly change to the heavy square shape to land on and push down a giant piston thing on top of the boss.
I found the regular combat with enemies to be pretty simplistic but found the boss fights to be pretty challenging. The puzzles however were pretty fun. Definitely quite basic but forced you to use your shape-shifting abilities.
Not so flat levels
One thing I really liked about Flat Kingdom: Paper’s Cut Edition was the level design. The game has several worlds with some brightly coloured and inviting and others that look a bit more ominous and dangerous.
Some of the levels take place on dry land and offer up a good mixture of platforming, combat and puzzle-solving in order to progress. There is a level called Flatlantis which takes place underwater. I found this to be particularly interesting because you had to use the heavy square shape to sink down and the other two shapes to float up. This level also had many enemies obstacles to avoid, so I had to quickly change shapes to zig-zag past them.
The levels also have quite a few little hidden areas that are obscured by foreground foliage. So the game also forces you to explore to find hidden things like keys, scrolls and extra coins.
Flat Kingdom: paper’s Cut Edition – Definitely not a flat reception
All in all, I enjoyed my playthrough of Flat Kingdom: Paper’s Cut Edition. The levels were well designed and great to look at. The boss fights were challenging and required thinking on my feet and the basic but interesting puzzles made me remember that I can change into other shapes at will.
Overall Flat Kingdom: Paper’s Cut Edition is a charming and somewhat unique little puzzle platformer that is definitely worthy of your time.
Flat Kingdom Paper’s Cut Edition is out for PS4 and PS5 on 1st April. The PS5 version also comes with the PS4 version bundled in, so you can get two platinum trophies for the price of one.
Flat Kingdom Paper’s Cut Edition - The PSF Verdict
All in all, I enjoyed my playthrough of Flat Kingdom: Paper's Cut Edition. The levels were well designed and great to look at. The boss fights were challenging and required thinking on my feet and the basic but interesting puzzles made me remember that I can change into other shapes at will.