A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Human: Fall Flat is a downloadable puzzle-solving game. Players will explore floating dreamscapes and must progress through a door in each area to fall down to the next area to do it all again. It's intended to test your reflexes and problem-solving, pattern-recognition, and thinking abilities. There really is no story to speak of, but plenty of character and personality still comes across from your wobbly character and goofy action.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
There's no story at all in HUMAN: FALL FLAT. Everything's right there in the title, a cheeky assertion that humans are only good at falling down, following rules they don't understand, and will obediently repeat the whole process. Indeed, as you play the game, you go through doors because you only know you're supposed to go through doors and fall after walking through them because that's the only way you can progress in the game. You're a human and you'll fall flat. There's nothing else we know how to do.
Is it any good?
This amusing, physics-based puzzler will make you laugh, even when it frustrates you with its wobbly controls. You'll be able to tell right away whether you appreciate Human: Fall Flat. Unlike so many other video games today, it's a welcome respite with bright colors and an understated sense of humor. You play as the titular human, a pudgy mass of Jell-O who's sent rippling and wobbling by the tiniest crack in the road or the seemingly smallest step in a staircase and who's tasked with absurd situations like hugging a wrecking ball to careen over huge pits, whizzing from a catapult, and carefully steering power boats. Momentum, inertia, and other terms you likely haven't heard since high school ("centripetal force," anyone?) are key to navigating the game.
Fortunately, the game is patient in escalating you to the more worrying challenges. You'll learn to climb, drag, and improvise when things inevitably go horribly awry due to your lack of a spine. The console versions of the game boast new content by way of new levels, though at launch PC owners will benefit from having all that new stuff be rolled into the preexisting computer version free of charge. The game's well worth playing on any platform, as you're guaranteed a laugh if nothing else. The addition of co-op only multiplies the number of things that can go wrong, as well as the possibility for teamwork and collaboration in navigating all these goofy puzzles. But still, it must be stated: Whether you're playing alone or with someone else, you are in for some extreme frustration every now and then.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about works of art that don't rely on the written word. What do you notice about movies and TV shows that rely more on imagery than people talking? Which do you think is a better way of telling stories? Why?
What do you do when you get frustrated by things you can't control? Would you like to change that reaction? If so, what steps do you think you can take?
- Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $14.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Curve Digital
- Release date: May 9, 2017
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Adventures, Misfits and Underdogs, Trains
- ESRB rating: NR for No Descriptions
- Last updated: April 24, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.