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Human: Fall Flat

Human: Fall Flat

Imagine Gang Beasts, but you've got puzzles to solve while being harassed by others.

  • Text: Matti Isotalo & Sam Bishop
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Human: Fall Flat has been available for a while now on multiple different platforms, a game that combines platforming action with physics-based puzzles and doughy ragdolls that make even the simplest of tasks a fun exercise in keeping full control of your limbs. It's like Gang Beasts, but instead of trying to fight with your friends, you get to work alongside them to solve puzzles thanks to the game's new co-op update, one that we've been getting stuck into recently.

The puzzles you tackle with your squishy little human are pretty simple to start off with, like using L2 and R2 (on PS4) to grab things with each arm respectively, and put these objects on buttons or move them out of the way, but things get much harder real quick. You'll soon need to be swinging on ropes or throwing stuff through windows to get where you need to be, but at the same time, the challenge also comes from working out what you need to do. By balancing both the ineptitude of your floppy character and the question of what you need to do to progress, Human Fall Flat throws up clever puzzles that kept us floundering for a while.

As you can imagine, the multiplayer update changes the game quite a bit, as single-player maps are now recycled to be played with friends, and we also get a brand new temple-themed level as well. Anywhere between one to eight players can work their way through the 10 different maps, but the fun isn't so much about the efficient solving of puzzles but the way that it often becomes dramatically harder with more than one person. The simple act of lifting a pole, for instance, becomes a mess of uncoordinated flailing as players wrestle for control of their own character as well as trying to work together with the others, and that's without even mentioning those players that aim to purposefully derail progress by grabbing ahold of others... you know who you are.

Although the multiplayer aspect doesn't actually make the game easier a lot of the time (anything but, in fact), it does make it a load more fun. While in single-player you'd probably be wandering around and progressing quite quickly, you can spend ages on one section just messing around with friends because that's really the appeal of these kinds of physics-based games. Just like with Gang Beasts the simple act of grabbing can produce endless hours of fun, and in one water-based map we had to take a break because of all the laughter.

Human: Fall FlatHuman: Fall Flat

As such Human: Fall Flat is a game that absolutely needs to be played with a proper headset, because connecting to randoms is going to produce one of the most frustrating experiences imaginable, as you can't laugh with them and they'll just hold you back anyway. Like in real life, if people are going to hold you back you might as well have a laugh and a joke about it while it's happening.

What we found just a little disappointing is that the multiplayer (and by extension the game as a whole) is a bit on the short side, with very few maps, a lot of which can be blasted through very easily on the first go. We also had a few connection problems which is worth mentioning, but these were few and far between and the game worked well other than that. Steam Workshop support would be a good add-on here, because this is a game that you definitely want to come back to again and again, but just with more content.

We did appreciate the variety that we saw within the levels, though. One level might see you climb over train carriages to get from one window to another, but then you might have to do some swinging and climbing up a castle in the next level. In fact, the castle level was a highlight all round, even letting us use catapults to throw us and our friends across the map.

Variety is also here in terms of visuals too. Admittedly a lot of the game is this light grey colour that you start off seeing in abundance, but as you progress these brightly coloured environments open up to you. What's great about this is that everything's really simple and uncomplicated in terms of design, so there's rarely a moment where we were scratching our heads wondering what to interact with, and you can even customise your avatar as well, whether that be to look like a builder or one of the cast of Breaking Bad.

It's also worth noting that you can have another friend jump in via couch co-op split-screen, so if a friend pops over uninvited while you're trying to lay a plank on a log or something similar, then you can wrangle them into helping you out. You can also do this via Share Play as well, so if one of you owns the game then you can share play even if the other person doesn't own it.

Human: Fall Flat does pretty much exactly what it says on the tin, especially with other players alongside you. There'll be a lot of falling as you all scramble to try and help or hinder one another, and this is why multiplayer is a hell of a lot more fun than the single-player. Sure, you'll find entertainment in ragdolling your way around the levels solo, but nothing quite beats someone clinching onto your squishy head while you're trying to climb something.

Human: Fall FlatHuman: Fall FlatHuman: Fall Flat
08 Gamereactor UK
8 / 10
+
Hilariously fun as a multiplayer game, Clever puzzles, Funny narrator, Unexpected solutions.
-
Short occasional connection problems, A bit short.
overall score
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