Flatman Preview – The Shapliest Hero You Haven’t Yet Met

Platform games are something I feel an attraction to. Whether it is straight-to-the-point run and jump platforming goodness, or some puzzling platforming action, or otherwise. If it has solid platforming, I’m game. So naturally I was attracted to Flatman, an upcoming game by Fat Panda Games that has all of the elements I look for in a good time. Recently I got to sit down with a build of the game and give it a few playthroughs, and sate some of my platforming cravings.

Flatman is a playful game with humor and a bright, pretty world that is displayed with nice 2.5D visuals. It controls like a side-scroller but the landscapes have a nice depth to them, with locations that seems to stretch endlessly, begging to be explored to see what lies beyond the hill. The story is one we all know: A bad guy steals a powerful object and kidnaps the princess. This powerful object begins to turn a normally flat world into a 3D one, and things begin to get chaotic.

Looking at Flatman, one can instantly see that the game is visually appealing and inviting, bursting with personality. There is a lot of charm in the game as a whole, as well as in the gameplay. Flatman is no mere run to your right, jump over the obstacle and reach the goal; the character of Flatman has a unique ability, other than just being absolutely adorable, and that ability is shape-shifting into a few different shapes that allow him to be more proficient in other areas – speed, weight, and even one that makes him pointy. These shapes, which include  a circle, square, and triangle, affect not only Flatman’s movement and various other environmental objects, but also the enemies he encounters. Each enemy has a weakness, and Flatman must utilize the corresponding shape to dish out the punishment for them.

Flatman shapes

It is essentially like a game of rock, paper, scissors. Circle beats square, square beats triangle, and triangle beats circle. So approaching an enemy that has the triangle affinity as the circle shape, will unfortunately cause only pain to our hero. It is a unique take on things and keeps you ready at all times, and is one aspect of the game I feel will shine brightly in later builds. The potential is definitely there, and after adding in the fact that upgrades will be available, I’m very excited to see what the developers have in store.

The demo build I played through took me through the first stage and introduced me to a few enemies, before having me put each of the shape transformations to use. It is a solid introduction to the game and displays what is to come, and even showcases one of the first bosses of the game. It requires the use of two shapes, with square being the damaging one, but being that square is slow and unable to jump, circle – or triangle – needs to be utilized. The boss was a triangle-based one, and pretty straight-forward, but hopefully future bosses will be multi-shaped based, requiring more than one to deal damage to them.

Flatman jump

Flatman is coming along very well, and I think we are only going to see things get better until it is finalized and released next year. It has solid platforming, and its shape-changing hero has me excited for the platforming greatness that this game can bring to the table. There is a lot of time between and the release date, so hopefully things will stay on the upward path Flatman is currently walking along.

Those ready to to dive in and give the game a spin can do so by playing the Unity Web Player demo, and don’t forget about the crowdfunding campaign that is currently in process at IndieGoGo.

Lifelong gamer and writer with the need for more hours in his days. When not hammering words out on a keyboard or lost in some odd game, he can be found taking it easy with his wife, and their dire wolf (Australian Shepherd) Abel.