Human: Fall Flat is one of those odd games that happily embraces weirdness and has the potential to develop its own cult following like other similarly themed silly titles like Goat Simulator. It is a quirky, enjoyable game despite some frustrations and limitations.
Right off of the bat, Human: Fall Flat struck an odd tone with me due to its unwieldy controls. Some people could say they are charming in their clumsiness, complimenting the slaphappy nature of the game. I am not sure I would agree with that assessment, as I found them to be arguably my biggest barrier to entry. However, after spending some time with the game I was able to adapt to the controls and generally enjoy myself despite the awkwardness of the hand controls in particular.
While the aforementioned controls do not work terribly well from my standpoint, most of the rest of the game does. At its core, Human: Fall Flat is an adventure game with limitless possibilities. Jump and climb just about anything, creating a dream world that is visually serene and full of options as you traverse over half a dozen different kinds of dreamscapes. This is probably where Human: Fall Flat is at its best, selling this idea of a dream world where anything is possible.
Built into the environments are a variety of puzzles. Some are more interesting than others, with clever solutions that reward you for trial and some frustrating at times error. Everything revolves around a physics engine that is by no means a completely realistic one, but it sets its rules and boundaries and sticks to them. Unlike the controls, which I never fully adjusted to, I was able to learn the rules of these worlds. Of course the earlier puzzles are simpler, often times too easy. However, the further into the game you go, the more complex the problems - but I love that almost all of them have multiple solutions. If at first you don't succeed? Try and try again - and sometimes try something completely different.
It helps that the game's pacing is almost relaxed. The dream worlds are often rather serene, and there is no timer ticking away and pushing you to try and solve puzzles frantically. It was almost soothing to go ahead and take different stabs at the puzzles in front of me. These different solutions do lend the game a rather high level of replay value, which is good since the core game from start to finish is actually pretty brief. Playing split-screen with a friend is also a really good time, though my oldest daughter was simply laughing and watching me play as well. This is one of those titles that actually makes for some pretty good spectating.
While I enjoyed the level design and the visuals, the lack of music made for an experience that at time felt appropriately and yet oddly empty. There is some music to be had, but it seems to seldom play, though the ambient sound effects do help to fill the gaps. Another shortcoming is that the multiplayer is local only. Online would have been a nice touch and feels like something of a missed opportunity.
Human: Fall Flat is a quirky game with a few hiccups here and there, but the core experience is unique and the development team has embraced this uniqueness and made something more memorable and entertaining than I honestly thought it would be. A good game that challenges you to think outside of the box, Human: Fall Flat is a very short game, but one worth playing all the same.
No Brakes Games
Article by Nick