Exploring The Depths Of Humanity

Some days you wake up, get dressed and go to work or school. Some days you sleep in and enjoy a hard-earned day off. And some days, your consciousness emerges from your sleep in the form of a tiny ethereal Shiba Inu, and secret incandescent balls ask you to guide a seemingly endless stream of human souls through sinuous geometric constructions to a luminous square of light. You know, normal things.

This is the premise of Humanity, a new space puzzle game from the developer Tha and the publisher Enhance Games. Players familiar with the Enhance game library, with titles like Rez and Tetris Effect, probably have an idea of what to expect: an artistic experience with cool vibes, minimalist but immersive graphics, intuitive gameplay, experimental music and an undercurrent of positivity and heatth. Humanity easily meets all these criteria, while establishing itself as a unique and charming puzzle game that both reminds of old favorites and adds new interesting innovations.

As a nameless meme dog, you are tasked with directing the human flow coming out of a secret portal “to the light”-a specially marked square on the floor. To do this, they place directional controls in the places where the flow of people takes place. If you have to turn left to avoid ending up in a pit, you will bark and leave a mark telling you to turn left. Easy! It’s a bit like lemmings, but maybe closer to the classic chu-Chu rocket from Dreamcast Sleeper.

But then things get complicated. The stages (called “exams” in the game) are divided into sets of “sequences” built around new abilities and gameplay elements. The levels become tall and imposing structures where height and depth are important factors. Devices such as fans, treadmills and switches appear that require a stream of human traffic to activate, so you need to learn how to efficiently collect the masses. Suddenly you have the power to make people jump over obstacles, float in the air or split into separate groups. You learn the things that people can do themselves without your advice: climbing. Slowly. Group to push heavy but mobile objects. A rival faction known only as the “others” appears. The poor show themselves. And yet, during all this, you are fighting, persevering and guiding humanity towards the light for an not known, but apparently Noble purpose.

Many scenes feature a giant, golden human Avatar named Goldy, who represents the desires, dreams and desires of the population. Goldy must also be touched and absorbed into the flow of humanity and led to the exit. Yes, you can usually complete the trial without all the Goldys, but not always. And you will need a certain number of Goldys not only to get a bunch of new options and cosmetic Unlocks, but also to open the last check of each sequence. After all, what is humanity without its dreams and desires? Just an endless and senseless march.

However, it all starts quite simply. The way humanity is gradually building up and making it easier for you to access new game mechanics and concepts is extremely satisfying: your reward for overcoming a difficult test is something new and exciting to experience and challenge. The controls are simple and intuitive, and the basic graphics make it easy to understand what is happening at a glance – a godsend as thousands of people flock to the level. Humanity is an easy game to learn and play, and it’s great.

However, the visual and controllable simplicity sometimes poses some problems. The elements of the platform in particular can be a bit tricky. Sometimes it is especially difficult to tell how deep and in what Position your dog’s avatar is, which leads to many matters of falling off a cliff. (You can’t really die, but it can sometimes be embarrassing if you have to move and react quickly.) Guessing which platforms you can and can’t scale without a little help can also be a bit tricky. However, if you have the opportunity to play the game in stereoscopic 3D using virtual reality, I’m sure it will be much less of a problem.

Physics also plays a role in several puzzles of humanity: jumping, floating, pushing and moving in groups are part of the mechanisms that are taught to you very early in the game. They may feel uncomfortable at first, but I finally figured out how they work through a lot of trial and error. However, sometimes unpredictable things happen. Large crowds can sometimes push some stragglers out of the limits you have set and create a variety of unexpected problems when they experience perils, move objects and trigger switches for which they did not want to use them. This tends to happen more often if you use the fast forward function – which you will use a lot. It’s frustrating to have to restart a scene because a few stray people were kicked out of their “herd” and caused problems.