Meet Tim, the protagonist of Not So Flat. Tim is a square, in the most literal sense (or a rectangle, according to the game), and as fate would have it, he is also both lost and far from home! A pretty bleak affair, but maybe there is hope yet. Maybe that portal up ahead will eventually lead him back to safety? Only one way to find out, and that is to press on, turning corners and changing angles… boldly going where no rectangular square has gone before!
At its core, Not So Flat is a semi-basic 2D platformer, in that Tim is only able to move left, right and jump. But before even the first of its eight levels have been completed, upon turning the first corner, you’ll come to discover that there’s more to this world than meets the eye. See, passing through a green line – whether it be horizontal or vertical – changes the camera angle, creating genuine shortcuts in some cases.
Although for the most part, these are simply part of the puzzles that involve figuring out how to reach objects required to open the portal, granting our poor protagonist access to the next level. Do watch out for those pesky red circular saws as you go along though, as they are deadly to the touch. Very deadly.
That said, a rather generous checkpoint system has been implemented, meaning death rarely sets you back more than a few seconds, so there’s that. Also, better make a habit of holding down space to get a better view of your surroundings every so often, should you lose track of where to go next. Given the amount of ‘angling’ going on, flipping the camera back and forth, it’s not uncommon to get a tad confused.
Help Tim make his way back home through a seemingly flat world full of dangers.
While enjoyable for the most part, Not So Flat does have one nagging issue, which, ironically, is actually related to the platforming aspect; or rather, the level design. More often than not crossing a gap involves leaping a split-second before Tim loses his footing, which gets annoying fast. Hitting the block above me because I was less than an inch off, resulting in a long fall instead of progress, was a much too frequent occurrence.
Aside from that, Not So Flat is definitely both fun and quite unique, on top of providing plenty of challenge, making it an easy recommendation – even for those who dislike platformers!
Not So Flat is available for Windows and OS X from itch.io, carrying a pay-what-you-want price tag.