Game review: Human: Fall Flat is a delightful little physics-based puzzler

You can go with the flow and enjoy the surreal ride, or you can struggle against the current to complete the goals – either way, this is an absorbing game

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 August, 2016, 11:01am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 August, 2016, 11:01am

Human: Fall Flat

NoBrakes Games

4 stars

Almost every week I go on about innovation in gaming – how new releases are pushing boundaries, how the medium is on the verge of mass acceptance, how it’s all going to eventually converge into one big virtual reality play set. It’s all true, except the latter maybe, but not all games can be groundbreaking. Some thrive on sheer stupidity.

That’s not to say Human: Fall Flat is dumb in any way – far from it. The physics in this bizarre world involve an almost unparalleled level of creativity, even if it looks ridiculous on the surface. But the surface is what matters here, despite what the intentionally barebones visuals may have you believe.

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But I’m getting ahead of myself. You don’t even know what the game’s about – although I don’t either. You’re a doughy, blank-faced little character who runs around an untextured world that’s constantly throwing him every which way. Think of a drunken, invincible Gumby lost in a 3D maze and you’re somewhere close.

There is a purpose behind it, even if stumbling about a virtual world sounds like reason enough to play. There are puzzles to complete, starting with such simple tasks as climbing a platform, all the way through to insanely complex affairs. And remember, this isn’t a one-button-jump affair – all the while you’re battling with bizarre physical dynamics that are fighting to steer you off course.

Now imagine the complexity of it all: controls that are purposely poor, a character with gummy worms for arms, and a seemingly endless world where any suicidal tendencies will bring you back to where you started. Thankfully, there’s a buddy option, a co-op mode that lets handy real-life victims jump into Human: Fall Flat’s Sisyphean madness. That doesn’t help things much, but it does give the game an extra level of entertainment.

I’m not sure whether I’ve fully explained the appeal of Human: Fall Flat here. There’s two ways of playing it: going with the flow and enjoying the absurd ride, or fighting against the current and aiming for one of its many goals. That’s almost an analogy for life, now that I think about it – sort of, not really, whatever.

I had fun with Human: Fall Flat and you probably will too.