Human Fall Flat (XB1) Review

Ken McKown

Wobblin’ through life.

There are a lot of games similar to Human: Fall Flat – simplistic visual design, physics-based puzzles, and awkward controls. However, this game gained a strong following with the streaming community when it landed on PC last year. Now the game is coming to consoles, and I have had my first experience with it. I can definitely see the appeal. Not only is it simplistic in design, the awkward controls and inventive puzzles make it stand out above the crowd.

The main character (Bob) is a faceless, featureless character. He wobbles along the world grabbing ledges and solving puzzles. The console version also comes with plenty of customization options. I opted for a nice hoodie and baseball cap. The worlds also share the same plain design, with flat, texture-less walls and plenty of jagged design. Still, it manages to resonate a sort of somber charm. It feels like a tragic comedy.

MSRP: $14.99
Platforms: XB1 (reviewed), PS4, PC
Price I’d Pay: $14.99

Controls are awkward for sure. Bob lumbers around and stumbles over almost everything. He can jump, but not very high. The triggers are used to control each hand’s grip independently. They can also be aimed with the analog stick. It takes time to get accustomed to it. The game does an outstanding job of introducing new mechanics and challenges that employ what players are learning, while also testing their creativity. The pacing is excellent.

Each area represents a new theme, whether it is climbing, swinging, launching, or even a water-themed area. It mixes up the mechanics in just the right ways. Just when I thought I had mastered the mechanics, the game tasked me with thinking in a different way. It is really fun tackling each area and figuring out how to proceed.

The biggest hurdle in the game (or its most charming depending on who you ask) is how to get Bob to cooperate. Controlling him is pretty much the difficulty of the entire game. Sometimes I knew how to solve a puzzle, but Bob had other ideas. It is charming at times and frustrating as well. Knowing I had to swing across a gap only to fall to my death because Bob tripped over a rock was devastating.

In the end Human: Fall Flat is exactly what I expected it would be, but with more to it than I anticipated. I loved digging through each area. Even when Bob fell to his death, respawning and trying again never bothered me. The simplistic design and clever physics-based puzzles offer up an enjoyable romp that is more than worth the price of admission.

Review copy of game provided by publisher.

Good

  • Clever puzzles
  • Fun to experiment

Bad

  • Sometimes frustrating controls
8

Great

Ken McKown
Ken is the Editor-in-Chief of this hole in the wall and he loves to troll for the fun of it. He also enjoys long walks through Arkham Asylum and the cool air of Shadow Moses Island. His turn-ons include Mortal Kombat, Metal Gear Solid and StarCraft.
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