Human: Fall Flat comes to Switch. Does the ragdoll puzzler transfer well to the hybrid? The FingerGuns Review;
Human: Fall Flat is one of those games I’ve seen played countless times but never actually played myself. It’s a game that’s made its way from YouTube to national television being played by exposure hungry comedians on Dara O’ Briain’s Go8Bit on Dave (you’ll know what that is if you’re in the UK). It’s a game that looks like a platforming Gang Beasts and for that reason and that reason alone, it piqued my interest. I’m a fan of the ragdoll and whilst it can be infuriating to some, I’ve always appreciated it as a solid game mechanic that should be used more often. Looking at you, Nathan Drake. Ragdoll Uncharted? Sign me up.
Anyway, Human: Fall Flat is a straight up physics platformer that has some seriously great moments and in multiplayer can be ridiculously funny, though as a whole the package was never really essential.
Now the game has finally reached portable mode with on the Switch and it’s essentially more of the same. There are naturally standout moments that make the game as unique as it is, the game rarely holds your hands and instead leaves you almost immediately to work out just what on earth you’re meant to be doing.
Very important note about the co-op aspects of the game – whilst the game supports split-screen co-op, you can’t play with two Joy-Cons. Instead you need two full controllers in order to play, so a Pro controller or two and a Joy-Con Grip or two will be required to play co-operatively.
You’re tasked with working out a series of puzzles with an ever rising level of difficulty to reach an exit, allowing you to progress to the next area. The game begins by showing you the buttons and gets you opening doors and moving rubbish bins around to discover doors. There’s a narrator that you’ll only hear at the end of a sequence, which attemps to tie all of this together, an endeavour which is ultimately pointless as there’s no real rhyme or reason to anything you’re doing. The complexity comes in the puzzles that follow the all too brief ‘tutorial’, rather than the narrative. You won’t be confusing Human: Fall Flat with Portal 2 anytime soon.
But yes, the biggest draw in Human: Fall Flat isn’t the deep narrative, the movement of your character – whose name is Bob, if you were curious – which is as fun as it is maddening. There’s something to be said of the novelty of Human: Fall Flat and it comes in the blankness of your character juxtaposed with the absurd movement – though Bob can be customised if you want to make him look a little more unique – the ragdoll effect of having absolutely no control over something you are more than fully manipulate. It’s often times hilarious the first seven or eighteen times you fail a mission because you’re all ‘ah, Bob..ya crazy’, and then it becomes a lesson in patience and wondering if the developers had something other than actual progression in mind. Using Bob to operate forklifts in the later levels is an experience that I simply wouldn’t wish on anyone, especially if you’d like to keep your very expensive Switch in one piece. If you find yourself really struggling, there are instructional videos scattered around the levels, though they offer little advice, only a somewhat tiny nudge in the right direction.
Oh, and I do hope you like falling, because you’re going to be doing it an awful lot here, deep into the infinite abyss until you land straight back where you were to try a level all over again. Really, it’s a neat touch and thankfully the reloading of the level occurs as you’re falling, so it’s unnoticeable. From then you’ll be able to calmly make your way around each level without a time constraint which is a blessing, because you’re more than likely going to be taking plenty of time to navigate certain puzzles, especially in the latter stages of the game.
Visually, as you can probably tell from the screenshots here it’s all pretty basic, but the 3D floating world Bob inhabits looks crisp on the Switch handheld, and looks just as good in docked mode. There was no sign of slowdown or juttering – though honestly, serious questions would have been asked of this game if there were framerate issues – and it’s another one of those games that feels quite comfortable on the handheld, though try not to scream at your Switch when you’re out and about.
Human: Fall Flat is a fun puzzler that will infuriate you a little more than it will entertain you. The puzzles are complex and will have you scratching your head as you try to move Bob to his various destinations.
Human: Fall Flat is not going to change the world, but it’s certainly a welcome distraction from it. Just make sure you have a second full controller set-up or it becomes a very lonesome experience.
Human Fall Flat is available now on PS4, Switch (reviewed), Xbox One and Steam.
Developer: Breaks Games
Publisher: Curve Digital
Disclaimer: In order to complete this review, we were provided with a review code from the publisher. For our full review policy please go here.