Puzzle-solving has always fascinated me in video games. Finally having that super satisfying click of lucidity to solve the presented problem puts a smile on everyone’s face. After a couple of hours of taking the form of a Shiba and guiding people into the light, I feel like my problem-solving is sharper than ever, at least at the puzzle level.
Humanity is a modern take on the puzzle-strategy genre in the style of Lemmings, presented by the producers of Tetris Effect, where the objective will be to lead individuals to the main goal. Of course, not everything is as linear as this explanation, but even so, it is possible to solve the problem in a few minutes. What’s fascinating about this title is that there isn’t just one solution to solving the puzzle. It is interesting to revisit previous levels and with all the baggage collected from the experience during the adventure in Humanity and discover new paths that previously seemed impossible, making sure that there is no monotony and increasing its replayability.
The preparation of flows and mechanics that each level presents is all done by the player. At your disposal will be the tireless Shiba in the form of a ghost that can move around the entire game board. Even though it’s not an action title, there’s a good deal of jumps to platforms and dexterity in using mechanics at the right time. It’s tremendously easy to move the little character around the map, there’s even a skill that lets you move faster on top of people. This is all associated with the very smooth camera movement, where it is even possible to zoom in and out and which helps a lot in perceiving all the points of interest. Unfortunately, I don’t have any VR device to test Humanity in this mode, but I believe that it can be quite immersive. Regarding the mechanics, they can go through the simple redirection of the flow of people by means of arrows, the inclusion of jump skills, jumping further, or even shooting at targets, always with the intention of shaping the path to the light.
In addition to the main objective of bringing the flow of people to a specific point, there are secondary objectives that essentially involve taking one or more figures, which are distinguished by their height and gold color, even resembling a golden globe, to a specific point. It is not necessary at all levels to make them cross the objective, however, the chapters will be closed and instead of having keys to open them, it will be necessary to collect X number of these figures to open them. I never felt the need to repeat a level due to the lack of units to open the next chapter.
There is also a progression system that will evolve as secondary objectives are achieved and unlock rewards that are essentially related to different aspects for humans and even gameplay features such as changing the level’s music, stopping or accelerating time, etc.
The story doesn’t make any sense, but uses interesting metaphors about human nature that somehow explain to the player what the heck he is seeing on his screen. Moments where the “voice” that guides the player, builds a human head with the people present in the vast universe created in the chapter’s selection lobby, and that declaims its lines of text. These are undoubtedly bizarre moments that mark the fun experience.
Another interesting aspect of this title, in addition to the story mode, is the implementation of the Stage Creator mode, which allows you to play levels created and shared by other players, or the construction and subsequent sharing of levels created by the players themselves. This means that after finishing the story mode there is always something new to be tested, levels of all shapes for all tastes. In addition, the more custom maps that you play and/or the more upvotes you received on your creations, the more XP you receive and thus the possibility of unlocking elements for the player’s avatar.
Humanity is the vibe, literally. Modern, simple but with enough mechanics that make the most meticulous players interested in their creations. It is possible to spend hours on end trying to discover a path to the goal. Extremely recommended for everyone who enjoys a good puzzle and also for those who like to create problems for their opponents. All this makes me wonder how a player who loves creating levels in Mario Maker will feel.