- Developer: No Brakes Games
- Publisher: Curve Digital
- Genre: Adventure, Indie
- Release Date: 22 July 2016
- Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux
- Game Supplied By: No Brakes Games
Sometimes you just want to sit back and enjoy the scenery of a game, whilst wandering your way through its simplistic levels and its beautiful gameplay mechanics. When that happens, you’re given a game like Journey, Abzu, or flOw. If any of your friends offer you Human Fall Flat for a calming experience, laugh at them, point if you can and back away slowly.
Human Fall Flat starts off as a funny game where you’re able to control a simple human-like figure also known as Bob. Bob can fall from great heights and not break any bones, swing from wrecking balls with ease and twerk like there is no tomorrow. Seriously, I spent the first 5 minutes of this game doing the Macarena, twerking and laughing uncontrollably at how silly Bob looked. It made me happy, don’t judge. So when you’re thrown into this world as a new flopped Bob your first instinct is to press all of the buttons on your controller to see what they do. If you’re using a controller then the left and right triggers control each arm, raising and lowering them as you press and release. The left analog stick moves Bob and the right analog stick allows you to move Bob’s head. The reason I explain this is because the game doesn’t immediately tell you what the controls are, it literally drops you head first into the game with no instructions.
The first few levels are easy enough, press a button, move a square onto a bigger button, open doors and climb obstacles. As the game progresses, the mechanics of the game get harder and harder to deal with. Slowly but surely my rage levels rose until eventually I was raged out by a raft. That’s right, a tiny wooden raft that I had to hook onto another raft. Seems simple, seems almost too easy, and in other games you would be right. However, when Bob does not want to work with you and decides that drowning is far more fun that actually solving the puzzle, you can become very frustrated.
Apart from the rage inducing controls, the game itself is quite fun. The narrative in the little instructional movies you find is quite sarcastic and dry but it works. The level design is simple and yet effective; I haven’t found any bugs yet. However, I would say that the sound design of the game leaves a bit to be desired. When you first get into the game there is some background music but after around 3 minutes it abruptly stops and you can only hear certain background noises. For example, within the game there is a level where you play in what can only be assumed as an abandoned train station. This would be fine, however whilst playing you can hear trains still moving and creaks in the walls and floor. If I closed my eyes whilst playing this game I would swear by the sound design alone that I was playing a horror game. The sense of loneliness that you get is unreal.
The game itself does not have any ‘endpoint’ that I have found yet, each level is separate from the one found earlier, apart from getting increasingly difficult. There’s no storyline, no reason to keep going, it’s actually a pretty depressing game! There’s no continuous narrative throughout the levels apart from the instructional videos that you find in the first few levels. Maybe at the end it’s a Mario style “Bob rescues princess” but I will never get to the end without there being many holes in my wall where the controller has been thrown.
In a nutshell Human Fall Flat is a game with rage inducing mechanics, simplistic level design and slightly horrifying sound design. However, I found myself playing for a solid hour and a half and enjoying the moments when I got it right. The physics are wonky and fun to play around with and the little quirks within the level design make those frustrating moments a little more bearable. Only play this game if you have the patience of a saint.