Monkey Moon and Raw Fury combine to bring us Flat Eye, an innovative take on resource management in the future with a critical look at the past. How hard can running a store really be? Time to polish my name badge, don a dodgy uniform and find out.
Flat Eye, Eye Opening or Falling Flat
Flat Eye follows the traditional methodology of control. Being a PC game, it’s simply point and click, or click and drag to select and move around respectively. For those that have never played a resource management game it’s a case of simply using the information and functions available to you to keep customers happy.
Information is provided on where the most money is made, which modules need maintenance or refilling and how long the queue times are. Keep these elements under control and then you’re a winner. You play the manager who controls the clerk who makes the actions, which are simply to repair or restock, and take a break. Do well and earn Tech Points to spend on the Tech Tree to get new Tech t make your store better. The aim of the game is to make the best store in the universe!
So what makes Flat Eye stand out?
Well there are premium customers. You have to interact with these to unfurl the story. There are desktop interactions as well such as chats and notices that also advance the story. This is where flat comes into play. The delivery of the information is so dull that little actually sticks. Interactions with the premier customers is painful at best. The fact that the delivery is just text on the screen highlights the two dimensionality of the game.
There is no depth to the gameplay and the story that is unfolding is non-engaging. It looks like the developers have had a shot at intersplicing concerns about reality into Flat Eye at the expense of enjoyment. It did make me question a few things, like wondering what it would be like to be hit by an 18-wheeler and if it would be more pleasurable than playing through the next day of Flat Eye.
Error count is very high!
There are a number of elements to Flat Eye that are very buggy. There are dates that don’t correlate, new conversations that simply do not appear, interactions that change. FlatLuck makes you choose two mandatory cards but states you only need to choose one. I had to watch the same informational video twice, each time presented as new information. These are elementary errors that make a poor concept look even worse. There are more, but it would take too long to list them all.
Resource management games should be based on data collection, but this only works if the actions are consistent. I built five doctor booths, but due to demand I increased this to 7. The following day very few of the customers were interested in these. New tech becomes available, but for some reason no one uses it when it’s in the store. There is no real rhyme nor reason for it. The information when choosing new tech is basic, there’s no information about power usage or output, which is kind of essential.
The more I played, the more the 18-wheeler tempted me. More inane conversations that meant nothing and were forgotten in minutes, names that didn’t seem to match the text, the ease at which 5 stars can be gained and the long gap between premier customers just drained at my very soul until my existence seemed as futile as the clerk I was ordering about. I considered putting him out of his misery, but I figured why should he get out of the suffering whilst I continue. He lived.
Graphics & Audio
Flat Eye is presented in a very interesting way. I actually loved the style, and it is what drew me to it in the first instance. The simplicity of the store, the straightforward no hassle interactions, the art style of the premium customers. There was honestly nothing to not like about it. The hammer fell and the nail was driven home will ruthless efficiency.
The audio in Flat Eye is harmlessly set far enough in the background to be non-obtrusive. I would have liked there to have been more verbal interactions, get some voice actors in to get some personality behind the interactions as opposed to just the AI assistant. There were no sound effects for tasks, repairing something needs at least a hammer banging noise, right?
Due to the bland nature of Flat Eye, it was very hard to play for any amount of time. I had to summon the energy to return as well, it was put off so many times that I now have a totally rearranged house that is as clean as a show home. I even put black out curtains in the spare room so I can lay down in total darkness just to recover my senses.
I think that the concept of Flat Eye is good, but it has been presented poorly. I think the political agenda has taken over and the overall execution is poor. It’s like they drew the plans for a great sculpture and then tried to make it with a sledgehammer. Almost all aspects of Flat Eye have been broken from the original concept, it has all the depth of Stephen Hawkins reading a bedtime story. Now where’s that motorway?
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.