Human: Fall Flat Review — Falling Flat on Arrival

on July 22, 2016 8:57 AM

Human: Fall Flat was made for YouTubers, that is clear in its design. The main character is difficult to control and has funny animation in order to get a laugh out of the player and anyone watching. While games like Octodad: Dadliest Catch and Gang Beasts are able to take this concept and make something very engaging out of it, Human: Fall Flat struggles to do the same. The game at times seems unfinished, due to bland and empty environments, glitches, and awkward sound design. While content creators may be able to salvage some entertainment out of the more wacky elements of this game, it is too underwhelming for anyone else.

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As mentioned previously, Human: Fall Flat is intentionally hard to control. The mouse/touchpad is used to change the direction, two buttons are used to grab things, and then there is the standard jump button and WASD moving controls. While it sounds simple, the character flops and flails around a lot, making basic task look and play funnier.

The controls, while awkward, are serviceable for this kind of game. They work against the player in this environment with awkward physics. Some creative puzzles are present, requiring the player to climb around and swing, use objects to wedge things open, and to row a boat around. While the game does constantly introduce new mechanics, none seem fleshed out enough. If more time had been spent developing just a few of these puzzle elements, the game’s puzzles would be much more focused and, in turn, engaging.

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The beginning of the game is a slog to get through. Basic looking environments and few interesting gameplay sections make this seem like little more than a fun tech demo someone threw together quickly in Unity. The later parts get more interesting, with a castle stage being an easily identified stand out.

Even some of the more interesting looking environments, such as the castle and a big water level, feel empty and barren due to a lack of collectibles, NPCs, or anything else of interest. If an object exists in the world, it is most likely used for a puzzle, and that in turn makes the world feel linear and the atmosphere nonexistent.

The graphics are quite bland. This low-poly art style is becoming more and more common in games these days. While titles such as Firewatch show that something absolutely beautiful can come out of these artstyles, Human: Fall Flat just seems unfinished.  Environments use basic shapes and colors and, while there is the occasional interesting object or locale, most of the game’s graphics are not enjoyable to look at.

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On top of that, Human: Fall Flat is also not the most stable. I suffered multiple crashes on my decently powerful gaming laptop, and encountered several bugs that forced me to restart a level, such as getting my arm stuck in a wall that my character attempted to grab. At one point I had a glitch where menu text (which is in a very basic and boring font) would not appear, causing me to have to delete and reinstall the game to fix it. While the glitches only happened in isolated instances, they were still enough to hinder my enjoyment of the game.

The best thing about Human: Fall Flat is its character creator. You can paint your “Human” a multitude of colors, or even take a picture of yourself and paste it on the character. This is incredibly fun to play around with, and I found myself spending more time in this mode than I thought I would. This spices up a normally drab-looking character, and adds some more charm to the game.

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His name is Steve, he is the thing of nightmares.

The narrator is a hilarious disembodied voice that activates during tutorials, and occasionally during gameplay. The actor’s serious delivery of the lines makes the jokes all the more funny and enjoyable to hear. The narrator should have commentated on more things, as he adds a interesting and engaging element to the game that is otherwise absent. Luckily, the tutorial videos can be viewed on the title screen, so some of the funnier scenes are archived for the player to watch again.

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YouTubers and veterans of this genre may be able to find something to enjoy in Human: Fall Flat.  It’s charming narrator, funny and wonky animations, and opportunities for priceless reactions will most likely make this game popular with content creators on sites like YouTube and Twitch.  That being said, the game’s boring beginning, glitches, and bland low poly art style won’t do much for the average gamer. Human: Fall Flat does not have enough substance to keep most people engaged — those with low patience for this sort of experience may be better off watching Markiplier or Jacksepticeye play this game than purchasing it for yourself.

 /  Staff Writer
Tomas Franzese is a Staff Writer at DualShockers, writing a variety of reviews and shedding light on upcoming games for both PC and consoles. While he has been a gamer most of his life, he began writing for DualShockers last year, and has almost never put his computer or a controller down since.