Human Fall Flat Preview | MOUSE n JOYPAD

Simplistic, yet fun and creative!


As some of our readers may know, in case you’re familiar with my previous features, I’ve got two basic archetypes by which I judge a game; optimism that degrades into general disinterest or disappointment, or anticipated dread that turns to joy when I find out a game is actually much better than it looks. With Human Fall Flat, this may be the first game I’ve reviewed or previewed for Mouse n Joypad that I’ve one hundred percent enjoyed throughout my entire playthrough.


Choosing to swing across or take the longer route is just one of the many options available to players in Human Fall Flat.

For the unaware, Human Fall Flat is a physics based puzzle-platformer with some mild exploratory elements developed by No Brakes Gaming, that’s currently in it’s prototype phase of development. In Human Fall Flat, your goal is to reach an exit sign placed at the end of a series of puzzles using nothing but the set pieces provided, and the unbelievably powerful set of mitts you have.

The best way I can really describe Human Fall Flat is to take an old 3D platformer from the 90’s, and mess with the controls so that any time you had to cling to a ledge, you’d need to hit the trigger buttons to grab it with both hands. The crux of the gameplay is using the left and right mouse buttons to grip any surface, lift a variety of objects, and interact with a number of props. By tilting the camera while holding onto something; you can climb, lift, swing, and smack everything from loose rocks to large support beams.

Starting out, players will move their short blobby human around a few tutorial levels. Learning how to manipulate the levels with pushing, pulling, and climbing, thanks to the help of some well placed instructional videos. Picking up one of these videos causes the narrator to expound upon game mechanics, while a screen pops up in game to provide visuals. These videos provide an excellent way of teaching players about the game, without breaking up the game’s flow too much. Paying attention to these tutorial videos is, of course, highly recommended. Since the game becomes much more open-ended with the understanding of how to move about it.


While simple, the landscapes all have a unique charm to them.

Exploring the world is one of the main draws to Human Fall Flat as well. While the first few beginner levels aren’t all that interesting, with the most memorable being a train museum, exploring the two main game stages based on construction and a medieval setting are enormously entertaining. Each environment is wonderfully empty, giving every set piece a wonderfully eerie charm while wandering around. Across the board, level design is full of wonderfully simple, yet stylish, while giving the player plenty of things to look at. Ensuring that the players sense of curiosity, what lies ahead and what they think they can explore next, remains in tact while simultaneously making sure the barren world doesn’t feel too empty. Whether it’s to get a bearing on the next puzzle, or just figuring out how you’re possibly going to get to the next location from your starting point, players will find the level design and layout of Human Fall Flat to be fantastic.


The medieval and construction stages both test the limits of what the player learned through the tutorial.

Of course, level designs mean nothing if those interestingly abandoned set pieces don’t have plenty of content to keep the player amused. For Human Fall Flat, this comes in the form of the games many physics based puzzles. Ranging from incredibly simplistic to the incredibly infuriating, Human Fall Flat will keep your cogs spinning as the game challenges you with a slew of platforming based puzzles. The best part of it all, is that the puzzles follow the Half-Life 2 school of solvability, where the inherent solution can be completely ignored in favor of one you’re not entirely sure the devs thought you’d be capable of. For instance, in the construction area of the game, it’s entirely possible to skip the final puzzle of the zone by climbing around the walls to the sealed off exit. All it took was some careful swinging, then dropping off once I was below the exit. Or in one of the early training areas, you can bypass all the block moving puzzles by climbing up the black locomotive in the first zone, skipping about ¾ths of the level in the process.

While the variety and number of puzzles in game are a definite positive in Human Fall Flat, they also detract very slightly from the game. A small problem, but one I personally experienced none the less, was that the game gave me absolutely no breathing room between puzzles. Just an endless gauntlet from start to finish, where the only time I had to observe the wonderful landscape was while I was mulling over the next possible puzzle solution. It’s by no means a deal breaker, but I feel like I could’ve really enjoyed things a bit more if I wasn’t constantly puzzling out what order of things I needed to jump on.

That minor gripe aside though, I have no real major issues with Human Fall Flat. I enjoyed my time with the prototype more than I even thought I would from such a simple premise, and gives me plenty to look forward to when the game hits it’s inevitable beta and release phases. In fact, between how smoothly this game runs and how much it actually has to offer, Human Fall Flat actually offers more than most Early Access titles on Steam seem to. From the creative level designs, to small touches like being able to customize your blobby buddy with webcam pictures, Human Fall Flat is definitely a title you should look out for in the future. If you can’t wait for the full release, then you can also support the awesome devs at No Brakes Gamingby visiting the site and paying for a copy to the prototype as well.