Great coop games are hard to come by, sure plenty of games have optional coop campaigns, but games that were designed around the cooperative experience are few and far between. One of those games is Human Fall Flat. This goofy puzzle-platformer utilizes simple puzzles combined with tricky controls to create a lighthearted and fun-to-play experience with friends. Simply watching your friends struggle to walk from point A to point B can incite some jokes and laughs.
At the core of Human Fall Flat is its physics and controls. Most games attempt to make the controls as straightforward and fluid as possible to reduce frustration. Human Fall Flat, on the other hand, makes the controls a bit tricky and unwieldy. This works perfectly in the context of the game. The puzzles are simple, and you can often see the answer right off the bat, but the difficult part is how to actually execute the solution using the limited controls. This often leads to ingenuity or alternatively some silly moments as you and your friends flounder about trying to carry a crate up a hill.
Aside from the necessities of walking and jumping, the player can also grab onto things with each individual hand. Usually this is used for climbing, carrying objects, pressing buttons, or manipulating things around you. It can be extremely unwieldy to move the arms and grab onto things, but that’s the point. Since climbing and using your arms are essential to progression, it can be incredibly funny to watch as you and your friends figure out how to overcome even the most trivial of obstacles. The final action you can perform is to fall down. I don’t know if this serves any purpose other than being goofy, but once in a while I like to fall down in a doorway to impede my friends.
The levels in Human Fall Flat usually consist of a series of small puzzles and checkpoints, with the ultimate goal of reaching the exit where you can fall down to the next area. Each level has a basic theme such as a power plant, haunted house, or medieval castle. Its pretty obvious how to progress in each area, usually you use some object strewn about to forge a path forward. What I particularly enjoy about the puzzles is that they are fairly dynamic. While there is a clear “intended” solution, there are a variety of other ways to reach the goal. Through clever platforming or other “cheesy” methods like bringing objects from previous areas, you can often clear a section without the intended strategy.
Human Fall Flat does not have any game-ruining flaws, but a there are a few minor things of note. The game can be a little repetitive towards the end, the formula of “pick up object, bring object to goal” can only be done in so many ways. It’s a not a big deal because the game is fairly short, but levels do start to blend together as they all essentially follow the same formula. This is likely because the developers could not include more difficult puzzles as they would be immensely more difficult when using the controls of Human Fall Flat. I appreciate the fact that the developers kept it simple to make sure nobody was frustrated while trying to get their character to do what they want. After all, the game is light-hearted fun.
While Human Fall Flat is not a genuinely mind-blowing game, I don’t think it is meant to be one. It’s a cute, simple, and goofy game to play with your friends. Something you can play in groups and truly just mess around. Human Fall Flat is good, clean, stupid fun. It is for these reasons that I give Human Fall Flat a 7.5/10. It probably won’t be your favorite game of the year, but you will have plenty of fun with it anyway. Get some friends and start screwing around.