Flat Pack AR Mode

Flat Pack AR Mode Review

Flat Pack, is a puzzle-platformer that mixes both 2D and 3D to create a game with a unique twist. The game can be played without AR, but comes with five AR level. I played the regular mode just a bit and it’s players really nice, but my focus here is on the Augmented Reality part because it’s an AR blog after all.

After playing some great puzzle games like AR-Tower, AMON and other games alike, I really wanted to play something a bit different for a change. A game like Flat Pack sounded really nice. I’ve already played it once but haven’t reviewed it because I was too-puzzled buy it 🙂 (I’ll explain why later) but now it’s time to go back to the game and write a full review of my experience with its very unique AR mode.

So What is Flat Pack AR Mode Exactly?

When you start Flat Pack you have the option to play it in AR mode. In this mode, you need to guide a cute little character through levels full of traps while collecting portal shared in order to complete the round.

What makes the game so unique is that it isn’t your conventional platformer. Your character moves along the wall surfaces of the 3D level. The player needs to use jumping and back and forward movement in order to move the character around the environment. This means that you can find that your character needs to go to the bottom of a 3D cube to grab the glowing portal shards. The catch here is that you cannot rotate the level around, you have to crouch to see how to lead your character through.

Missing jump in Flat Pack, screenshot
Yep, I just missed the jump, LOL

It also can become confusing as your position and orientation relative to the character changes, so this can trick your hand-eye coordination and make it very tricky to finish some levels. There other interesting interaction like using a Canon to shoot your character to another floating 3D cube half a meter away from the level you are playing on. It also takes time to adapt to the controls and even when you adapt to them, the game employs some unique interactions that will make you stop and think, not just run and jump—part puzzle, part platformer.

Flat Pack AR mode gameplay video:

When you finish the AR mode (it is short), you can play the regular mode that has 30 levels and it is is really fun to play as well.

Flat Pack AR Experience

Flat Pack worked flawlessly in AR. Spawning and positioning the level in AR takes a few seconds. You can also readjust it if you want to change its position. There is no option to scale the level. The size of the levels isn’t big and I recommend a space around 2×2 meters (6.6×6.6 feet) as you’ll need to also move around the level to see where your character is and control it.

Flat Pack played in the living room
No, the image doesn’t need to be rotated. I needed to crouch to see the level from below to guide my character – so cool!

This is not the type of game that you can sit down and play. Flat Pack requires the play to stand, crouch and change his location in order to be able to complete the level. I tried playing the game on a table near a wall but I couldn’t play it. The problem was that one facet of the level was facing the wall, and because the character moves all around the 3D shape, I wasn’t able to see it.  It’s better to play it on the floor because sometimes you’ll need to crouch to see the level from the bottom (the level will be floating above the surface). The AR moe of Flat Pack is really unique, nothing that I’ve played before in Augmented Reality.

I have to share something with you. I wanted to review Flat Pack two weeks ago. The reason I delayed it because I couldn’t finish the second level. I was stuck on the second level, I just couldn’t figure how to solve it. I’ve decided to move on to other games and come back for it later. Today I downloaded the game again and have decided that whatever happens, I am finishing this game, and so I did. For whatever reason, the gameplay mechanics were really tricky for me. I’m sure it will be much easier for you guys.

Why only 5 Levels?

Flat Pack only comes with 5 levels. Once you get used to the gameplay mechanics it takes around 30-60 to finish all levels. If you get it fast it will take you even less.  I can understand that the AR mode is just an extra side feature, Augmented Reality isn’t its main. That being said, at least we get the option to see how Flat Pack plays in AR and it plays great.

Flat Pack AR game screenshot
I needed many tries in order to finish this level. It was tricky but so much fun.

I do hope that after the developer gets feedback from the community, it will be encouraged to work in adding more levels to the AR mode. 5 levels are just not enough. As I said, if you enjoy the game, you can switch to the regular mode where 30 more exciting levels are waiting to be explored, including epic boss fights. If you collect all the secret starts you unlock a secret ending. I don’t know if that secret ending exists in AR, it might be. The secret stars are hidden. I was able to find on by just bumping the character’s head against the ceiling and there it was.

Flat Pack was designed with retro-style visuals and sounds. I have to admit that it did bring some nostalgic memories from games that I’ve played many years back on the Atari and Commodore 64.

Conclusion

Flat Pack is very fun to play in augmented reality. It takes very good use of the location-based gameplay to challenge the player. It brings unique gameplay mechanics that I never experienced before.

For me, the AR mode was just too short. The developer just gave us a taste of how this game plays in AR. I do hope that we’ll get many more levels in AR in future updates, 5 isn’t enough (procedurally generated levels maybe?).

I just want you to know that I am reviewing the AR mode, not the entire game.  The enjoy the short time I had with the AR mode of the game and I highly recommend trying it out. I will leave the game on my iPad, so I’ll know if and when the developer releases new levels for the AR mode.

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