The first thing that I am going to say about Human Fall Flat is it is a puzzle game. Puzzle games are always great because you use your mind, you solve something, but then the process repeats (both a blessing and a curse). The last two games that I reviewed, The Spectrum Retreat and The Path of Motus have had their series of puzzles, but they had a huge framing device of story.
Human Fall Flat is one of those games that is essentially one puzzle after another, and I’m not certain if there is some bigger story here (granted I am only at Level 5). The website describes it as “an open-ended physics based puzzle game in which you take control of builder Bob helping him resolve the mysteries behind his recurring dreams of falling”. Okay, so I can quote a website, but what is the game actually about?
Well, the game starts out with the main character Bob, who looks to be a white lump of clay in the shape of a person. Now, you can customize how you want Bob to look, but he is very blank and expressionless, even with clothes. Bob is falling at the beginning, and he lands without getting injured, because he is essentially Mr. Bill without the “Oh No”.
At the beginning, there is some narration that, as far as I know, is never heard of again. He comments about the nature of humans, as the how they just have to open doors and attempt to move on. This is definitely what you are doing in the game, and the way you do it is very unique.
Bob shows up in this world that is minimalist and yet has some kind of detail (powered by Unity). The player controls Bob, and Bob is capable of moving and jumping. Nothing new here, but what makes it interesting is how the player can interact with objects. Essentially, the end of your arm sticks to objects, and you can push and pull them.
From here, Bob goes from world to world, and he uses his limited abilities to advance past the walls of whatever level he is in. Trust me, that makes sense when you play it, but I have to admit that it is difficult to get used to his sticky fingers. For example, there are times in which you need to jump and grab onto a ledge, then pull yourself up. In most games, this is done automatically with a jump button and upward motion of the controller, but when I played Human Fall Flat on the PS4, it involved the bumper buttons and shifting the camera view.
This unique type of controls made for some interesting puzzles as you stick to things, and there are even sections where you are swinging from ropes and things. What is great is how the game doesn’t seem to have one way of solving worlds. Like Breath of the Wild, there are more than one way of beating a level, and there were times when I was wondering if the game ever intended me to do certain things. An example would be a puzzle where it is possible to use a catapult to destroy a wall or perhaps launch yourself with the catapult.
My only complaint is that I am not certain why the game is called Human Fall Flat. On my controls, I was able to make Bob fall flat, but I didn’t really find this helpful. All in all, I would say that Human Fall Flat is a very engaging game and will be loved who love puzzle gaming. Check out the info here if you are interested.