Review: Human: Fall Flat (PS4)

Review: Human: Fall Flat (PS4)

Formats:

  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One
  • PC, Mac, Linux

Format/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
Title: Human: Fall Flat
Format: PSN (1.35 GB)
Release Date: May 9, 2017
Publisher: Curve Digital
Developer: Tomas Sakalauskas
Original MSRP: $14.99 (US), €14.99 (EU), £11.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: E
PEGI: 3
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
Human: Fall Flat is an open-ended physics puzzle game. Do not mistake this to mean open world or large open area. The levels may have a linear flow but do allow for exploration and distractions along the way.

You play as a character called Bob and the ragdoll physics make this a unique puzzle game. Controlling the character takes a few minutes to warm up to, but the game doesn’t have a steep learning curve.

Controlling him is certainly not as difficult as something like Octodad. Bob is just a really drunk friend who moves around sluggishly.

What really sets the game apart is that the player controls each hand separately. It’s not automatic either. You have to move Bob into position and aim each hand which works most of the time. The few times when he reaches right next to the level you want him to grab can be annoying but it’s never anything more than that.

This also means if you want to pick up something off the ground or reach up and grab something, you will have to look at the object. It’s kind of funny running around with both hands in the air.

… There’s plenty of misdirection in the levels …
It may seem stupid, but actions like opening a door are more enjoyable. You have to point the hand at the doorknob and then move the character back to open the door and after a few times these actions become pretty natural. The only time this really frustrated me was when I was trying to row a boat.

There is no death here. If you slip and fall off an edge you magically land back on the level near where you fell off. The puzzles are well designed for the most part though I found a couple of them to be frustrating. With one in particular I knew what to do but still struggled to get Bob to lift a gate and drop a beam to break some glass.

There’s plenty of misdirection in the levels. Sometimes you’ll wander around an area that has nothing to do with the puzzle. I found a small parking garage in one of the levels, went up to the top, pushed off a cart, and pushed the cart to the next puzzle. I then realized that the cart and parking garage had nothing to do with any of the levels.

Other times, the level designers throw in deliberate distractions. One of the areas started off with Bob being surrounded by four falls with a door and ledge up in the air. The developers included the beginning and end of what I thought was the puzzle. After a few attempts I realized there was no middle. That was not the puzzle I was supposed to solve to get out.

After successfully solving all the puzzles you’ll walk off the edge of the level, fall, and land on the next level.

… a perfectly fine, if somewhat uninspired, puzzle game …
Visuals:
The levels in the game are vibrant and colorful. The wide variety in level design includes mansions, construction sites, and castles. For areas where nothing moves except when moved by the player, there were a few framerate stutters.

Audio:
There’s not much audio in the game after a few well voiced tutorial videos. Most of the time you’ll just hear some occasional background noise and the sound of walking and jumping around.

The lack of music makes what little music there is all the more significant when it plays. I was nearing the end of a difficult section when all of a sudden an orchestral rise came out of nowhere. The continuing music gave the me energy I needed to finish the area.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is one player only with no online component.

Conclusion:
Human: Fall Flat has some interesting and well designed levels. I have no real complaints except that trying to row a boat in one of the levels really did not work.

The individual control of each hand is an unique mechanic but it’s just not enough to make the game stand out. There is no narrative or humor to motivate players to keep going from one level to the next. It’s a perfectly fine, if somewhat uninspired, puzzle game that will most likely be overlooked and quickly forgotten.

Score:
6.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

Written by Matt Engelbart

Matt Engelbart

I love all things video games. When I am not gaming I am watching the Kansas City Chiefs and Royals, BBQing, and reading.

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  • DKJenvey

    It has multi-player, but only local so far.