Title: Human: Fall Flat
Available On: PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Publisher: Curve Digital
Developer: Tomas Sakalauskas
Genre: Physics-based puzzler, Indie
Official Site: Human Fall Flat
Release Date: May 12, 2017
It isn’t often that a game truly has a charm all its own. It is even rarer for to feel this charm as soon as the game begins. When I first started Human: Fall Flat on my PlayStation 4, it immediately became a game between my boyfriend and me to see who could come up with the ridiculous antics. While it’s definitely fun, the game can be a frustrating experience when it comes time to actually make it through the levels.
This physics-based puzzle game about tells the story of Bob. No heroes, no superpowers, just Bob. Just a regular, squishy, human. It is Bob’s job to get from one end of the level to other, but how he ultimately get there is up to individual users Finding the solutions to each new puzzle is the easy part. As the player is given independently control each of his arms, things can get pretty messy and clumsy.
When I say that the game allows complete freedom, I really mean it. There are multiple ways to get around certain areas in the game. For example, in the castle level, there are stairs, a door on a platform, a hole with a barred entrance, and a long, pointed stick. Bob can either use the stick to basically poll-vault from the stairs to the platform with the door or can use the stick to pry the bars apart so and can slip in between them.
There really isn’t any guiding force throughout the game, so there is the ability to explore and conquer the levels at a leisurely pace. Aside from the freedom of choice when it comes to solving puzzles, the game also allows the opportunity to customize Bob in the very beginning of the game. Not only can this result in some wacky combinations, it also puts personality into the game from the very start.
This freedom definitely comes at a price. While there are endless possibilities, sometimes making them actually happen seems like a bit of luck. The controls are meant to be frustrating, but at times, it almost makes the game impossible to play. Get ready to play a certain part over and over, just hoping that the physics will eventually work in Bob’s favor. At some points, whatever the required task is will just take forever to complete. Like any frustrating game, there’s a water level, and it’s as bad as Ocarina of Time (ok maybe not that bad). All I’m saying is there is a rowboat, and in one way or another, this will take forever. Human: Fall Flat is definitely not an easy game to master and failing is only comical so many times.
The graphics and textures in Human: Fall Flat are simple and well…flat. At the very beginning of the game, I thought it really added to the charm of the experience. And as the game continued, it still did in a way. I could have dealt with some flat environments if there had at least been something interesting to listen to. However, there would be short snippets of a soundtrack, but they would never last very long. Most of the levels were spent in silence, and with nothing super interesting to look at, it is a good thing that the puzzles were interesting at least.
All in all, Human: Fall Flat is a lot of fun to explore, just in small doses. It is totally doable to complete the game in one sitting (there is even a trophy and/or achievement for doing so). I really, really tried to get through it all in one sitting, but I just didn’t have the patience for it. Trust me, I am more than aware that the game is made to be difficult to control. And I totally respect that. However, when it comes to the true purpose of the game, the controls can just make it way harder and messier than it needs to be. I would recommend Human: Fall Flat as a more casual gaming experience, due to the puzzles and exploration. I can promise that at the very least it will be a unique experience. Just trust Bob and all of his very squishy, human abilities.
Verdict: Human: Fall Flat is a physics-based puzzle game that basically allows its players complete freedom. Want to trash a room and throw speakers out of a window? Do it! Want to explore a castle versus ending the level? Do it! However, the gameplay can be frustrating at times and the dull environments and lack of music can cause the game to lose bits of the charm that Human: Fall Flat possesses.
- Complete freedom
- Fun puzzles
- The gameplay can get a bit frustrating
- Dull environments
- Would have liked more music
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