Tag Archives: Physics

Human: Fall Flat review

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

Magnetic: Cage Closed review


In the future, where the world is on the verge of total nuclear war, victory at all costs is the buzz phrase for warden Keene, the man in charge of Facility 7. This complex houses the preeminent research of Curiatis Corporation in the continuous cold war against an unseen enemy. On the verge of all out war, all moral complexities are outweighed by the over-riding need to stay one step ahead of the competition.

You are Prisoner XE-47623, a death row inmate transferred into the facility as a test subject in their advanced weaponry division with one goal; succeed at all costs and earn a reprieve. You are presented with a requirement to fulfill testing of the Alexandr Durov prototype  or “Magnet Gun”.

Warden Keene provides you with the physical challenges in the test environment where Dr Karen Womberg challenges you to the only form of morality that seems to exist within this world. These choices represent the multiple paths that make up the nine variable endings that can be encountered during your exploits.

Cage Closed wears its influences proudly on its sleeve. If imitation is the highest form of flattery, then Valve should be somewhat gratified. The silent female protagonist immune to fall damage, future tech weaponry, puzzle rooms, and predilection for the use of boxes; all point to a less than subtle homage to Portal, while the focus presented on moral quandaries have the mildest echo’s of The Stanley Parable.


The Magnet Gun has two main abilities; Push and Pull. As you progress through the levels and more prototypes are released, this will be upgraded to have three power levels, though it is possible to complete the challenge rooms using only the highest power, I did find that using the lowest setting allowed for more precise action when manipulating the small boxes found throughout the levels.

Initially, the challenges focus on maneuvering boxes around and activating switches to progress, but as the weapon is upgraded, so too are the “motivational hazards”, with fire traps, spike squares and chlorine pumps requiring you to use the magnet gun in more elaborate ways. Focused use of the Push allows you to propel yourself away from active magnetic plates, and conversely Pull can drag you to platforms otherwise unreachable by standard movement. Utilising and mastering these abilities is essential to completing the trials set out in front of you.

For the most part, the game works perfectly. The physics involved in the puzzles feels natural and responsive, yet at times small frustrations occur. Occasionally the boxes fail to respond to the magnet’s pull and more than once I have found myself being attracted to the box, and typically directly into hazards, instead of the other way around. This becomes increasingly annoying during the latter stages as death typically resets the puzzle and some of the final rooms have very convoluted and elaborate solutions.


Narrative is primarily provided from the exposition of Warden Keene and Dr Womberg, and while it does a good job of setting the scene, there just doesn’t seem to be enough substance to be found in the story especially with the specifically weak endings. Although I only observed just over half of those available, none of them appeared to have much substance.

A few other niggles also crop up, in the pacing. Loading times are a constant frustration, as each intersecting room requires a further load screen before transition. This in itself is accompanied by long sections crawling through vents and standing around in a refurbished shipping container when you are being transferred from your cell to the evaluation area.

All in all, Magnetic: Cage Closed is an accomplished puzzler that fails to emerge from the shadow of its predecessor. With finely balanced progression and competent physics it goes a long way to making up for a lack of story. For those of you missing your time with GLaDOS and looking for something to fill the gap while we wait for Valve to announce Portal 3, Magnetic: Cage Closed can sufficiently fill that void.

Thanks to Xbox and Indigo Pearl for supporting TiX

[rprogress value=71 text=”TiX Score 71%”]
[xyz-ihs snippet=”XboxOne”][xyz-ihs snippet=”Pegi12″]