Human Fall Flat is a physics-based game with no boundaries and no rules. It gives you the fundamentals of what to do and you do the rest. Want to swing over a cloudy abyss from one platform to another or go the safer, more stable route? Fancy removing five or so wooden planks from a door, or would you rather take one off and smash it through the glass window next to it? Well, you can proceed however you want. No Breaks Games wants you to play around with all the threads before you weave your escape and you can do so at your own leisure.
You are a podgy, flubber-like chap called Bob, lost in a dream and doing everything in your power to get out. It’s not a bad dream, however. The various dreamscapes you find yourself lost in are gorgeous – think The Unfinished Swan. They stay relatively simple throughout and help to maintain the aesthetics of Bob’s dream, throwing in castles, trains and other things into the stages to make each one dissimilar to the last.
At first, controlling Bob can be a great deal of fun, but at times playing Human Fall Flat can be quite a chore. Everything you do requires sticking your hands onto objects to lift, climb, pull, push and throw, with the occasional need to turn yourself into a human catapult. The first time I tried to climb, I kept falling off the sandy rocks through the crevices, misplacing my jumps and falling into the clouds, continuously failing to pull myself up.
Human Fall Flat anticipates you struggling, and it’s fantastic how they want to give you a helping hand. You’ll see plenty of tutorial videos and text pop-ups to give you clear guidance, and if you fall into the clouds below, you’ll end up respawning close to where you fell from. You’re here to have fun and you’re here to enjoy your time exploring the 8 different dream environments.
There are lots of different ways to succeed; whether you want to rush through the levels or take your time, Human Fall Flat caters to the way you play, with lots of ways in which you can cheat the game so to speak. For example, if you struggle with moving from some of the platforms, look around. I found a plank of wood at one point and I ended up using this to walk up a ramp that ended up bypassing most of the work I’d previously spent doing for 20 minutes earlier.
My biggest concern with Human Fall Flat is the obstinate camera angles. The smallest movement of the mouse can spin the camera far too much, and being in a tight spot obstructs your view of an escape route. Until you’re used to these idiosyncrasies, lifting objects successfully or walking along a tight platform can provide a real challenge. It doesn’t help matters you’re playing as a drunken morph; he moves as if he’s inebriated and tired – like it’s the early hours of a Sunday morning and he’s lost his way home. It’s worth mentioning that this offers full controller support, so many of my issues may not be present by playing this way, but I feel the camera angle could definitely benefit from a little more stability.
Human Fall Flat offers local split screen co-op, giving you the option to work together with a friend and explore and enjoy the various levels together. You can dabble with customisation too; you can paint Bob however you want, or even drop a photo of yourself on top. I ended up painting Bob like Pennywise the clown by accident, but couldn’t help use anything other than my freaky abomination throughout my time with it.
But this is an experimental joy, letting you use your noggin to solve plenty of puzzles in different ways. Even though some of the fundamentals of control can prove exasperating, and the camera angles can be terrible, the heart of Human: Fall Flat is worn gracefully in every dreamscape and every idea.
Many different ways to solve puzzles
Controlling Bob can be a chore
Awful camera angles at times