Welcome to Best of Xbox Game Pass where each week I’m going to pick out a game available on Game Pass and explain why I think it is worth playing. While I’ll certainly include some of the bigger titles available on the service, I’ll focus more on other games that you might have overlooked in the hope of leading you to a hidden gem
There are games with amazing controls. There are games with stunning graphics. There are games with complex tales that ensnare, bewilder and enchant. And then there’s Human: Fall Flat, which is like a cross between a drunk simulator and what it’s like to be a toddler trying to reach the cookie jar. You’re basically a boneless blob of rubber that flops around the place, bounces off the walls, falls over and stumbles up steps.
You could describe it as a platformer of sorts, mixed in with environmental puzzles, all driven by a physics engine designed to turn everything into a slapstick comedy. Control of your left and right arms is assigned to the triggers and your shapeless hands automatically stick to anything they come in contact with, such as walls, objects, other players and everything that you didn’t actually want to grab. To climb a simple ledge you raise your hands above your head (like you just don’t care) and then walk into the wall like an eager child that wants a hug. To haul your boneless body up, you push the camera control downward, at which point your strange avatar will pull itself up and inevitably faceplant the ground in the process.
Yes, it’s one of those games where the controls are deliberately obtuse and awkward, making seemingly trivial tasks like opening doors into a potentially epic act of heroism. But the genius of it all is that you can get properly good at Human: Fall Flat, and by the end, you’ll be expertly flopping about. Of course, it’s still bloody hilarious even when you are good at the game. No matter how skilled you are at manipulating the controls, there’s no getting around the drunken way you stagger around the levels, bumping into walls, punching buttons, getting tangled up, nearly squashed and getting actually squashed.
Human: Fall Flat can absolutely be played solo, but it’s like sex; fun on your own, better with other people. With a friend Human Fall Flat comes into its own, opening up a wealth of new solutions to its various environmental puzzles and heaps of room for a bloody good laugh. You’ll try to throw each other off cliffs, laughed at failed attempts to fire each other over a wall with a catapult, try to throw couches over railings, scream at each other as you try to drive a truck and occasionally succeed in whatever it is you were trying to do. I’m constantly amazed by the different ways people manage to progress, often finding entirely different methods of reaching the objective than myself or my friends used.
I think Human: Fall Flat might be the game that has made me laugh the most in recent memory. I’ve been replaying it with a good friend of mine and been having a blast as we chase each other around with boxes, argue over how to do something and just watch as things go wrong in the dumbest ways. If you can persuade even more people to join in the fun (the game supports up to 8 players) then it basically becomes pandemonium. The act of getting to the objective typically devolves into people fighting to hurl each other over cliffs and laughing as someone else winds up dangling out of a window.
The developers do a great job of introducing new ideas into the game, too. There’s always something different to interact with, each levels feels unique and the solutions you use differ greatly. The bonus levels are the best examples of this, like the awesome mini-golf area.
Of course, you have to be the right kind of person to enjoy Human: Fall Flat. It’s the kind of game that could easily be as frustrating as it is fun for others, so if the idea of spending 10-minutes trying to get a giant hook the right way so you can use it to swing across a gap sounds the kind of experience that makes you want to jump off a cliff then it probably isn’t going to be for you.
If you want something light-hearted, goofy and fun to enjoy with your kids or with a bunch of friends then Human: Fall Flat is an outstanding choice.