Flat Kingdom: Paper’s Cut Edition (Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, PC)

In a pop-up book paper kingdom, magical jewels keep things in balance.  But when a ninja steals the jewels, it’s up to a little brave hero to save the day.  This little hero can fold into different shapes to solve puzzles, bypass obstacles, and defeat enemies.  Flat Kingdom: Paper’s Cut Edition is a 2-D puzzle platformer and is available on nearly all current consoles and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

Controls are pretty simple.  Just move left and right with the control stick and jump with the B button.  You can collect hearts to refill your energy and coins that you can use to buy extra hearts at the beginning of most stages.  The other buttons change your shape, and allow you to do specific things.  Circle lets you double jump, triangle lets you run fast and do long jumps, and square lets you sink in water and push blocks, but you can’t jump high.

Obviously you can use these shapes to solve puzzles, but you’ll also use them to defeat enemies.  Each enemy is assigned a shape, and you’ll use a rock-paper-scissors style attack to defeat them.  This is where the game’s problems lie, as it’s not always easy to tell which shape an enemy is.  Sometimes it’s clear, like a snail with a square shell, but what shape is a paper whale?  Because of the guesswork involved, I lost interest in it pretty quickly.  Plus the paper motif has been done better in other games like Paper Mario, Yoshi’s Crafted World, and Tearaway.  It’s not a totally bad game, but I’ve played much better 2-D platformers.

Kid Factor:

Flat Kingdom: Paper’s Cut Edition is rated E-10 with ESRB descriptors of Fantasy Violence and Mild Blood.  You just stomp paper origami baddies that flatten when defeated, but I didn’t notice any blood (come on, it’s all paper).  Reading skill is needed for the text, and younger gamers may have trouble with the difficulty.

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