Protagonist Bob in Human: Fall Flat is akin to a toddler learning to walk. He haphazardly stumbles around the environments, bumping into objects and clinging on to them like a drunk trying to steady himself. It’s delightfully humorous and charming, and when he drops from a significant height and crumples to the floor with theatrical, squishy ragdoll physics – suggesting he possesses no bones whatsoever – it’s hard not to concoct more and more dangerous activities for poor Bob to undertake, just for fun. Indeed, that’s a large part of the fun, but there’s a physics puzzle game here as well, one that’s brief but clever and funny enough to leave a lasting impression.
The colourless, devoid of detail, anthropomorphic blob that is Bob is essentially a crash test dummy for you to experiment with. The environments are equally devoid of details, with block colours on austere textures but it’s a unique aesthetic that’s easy on the eyes. With an editor, you can personalize Bob to your heart’s content, and let your creative juices flow somewhat, but the visuals quickly take a back seat to the physics.
Human: Fall Flat’s objective is to solve a set of puzzles and platforming challenges in order to reach the end of the level, with each level sporting a different theme, such as a building site, a mountain pass, and a medieval castle. You don’t really control Bob per se, instead you try to steer him around the environment, moving objects, pulling and pushing levers and switches, and otherwise clearing the way to the exit. It starts off simple, with a couple of tutorial levels teaching you the basics, before larger, more complex levels really start to get your grey matter working. Experimenting with the environment and Bob to see just what can be done within the physics engine encourages you to explore the environments and discover multiple methods to master the madness.
Indeed then, it’s a humorous game and bringing a friend along for some coop fun takes it up a notch, as you uncontrollably giggle your way through each level. But whether alone or with a friend, Human: Fall Flat remains fun and intriguing, and while Bob is sure to fall off cliffs, get squished with boulders, and make suffer less than graceful trips and falls a few too many times, figuring out the puzzles and making it to the exit is hugely satisfying. Meanwhile, the puzzles can often be solved multiple different ways, adding some replayability and a spark of creativity to your play-through.
Human: Fall Flat is a charming physics platformer and puzzler but also a very short one. The multiple solutions to puzzles as well as the coop mode offer some replayability, and the pacing ensures the concept and humour don’t out stay their welcome, but still it’s all over with disappointingly swiftly. However, it’s certainly an afternoon well spent.
Thanks to Xbox and Curve Digital for supporting TiX