No, Human Review
Humans – we’re a bunch that’s always looking for somewhere new to live. Our transient ways are so ingrained in our DNA that we’ve even started to look off world – or at least sci-fi writers have gotten many of us to entertain the idea. But what if the universe doesn’t want to be colonized? That’s certainly the case in No, Human, a new physics puzzle game where players try to put a stop to the exploratory ways of earth’s mightiest residents.
As the game begins, a quick cinematic introduces you to the basics of the story. An earthling proclaims “We will colonize you, universe!” and the universe quickly disagrees. Players will take control of the omnipresent universe, flicking flaming space rocks into earthlings and their ships in an effort to stop mankind’s progress into the stars.
While it may sound like an arcade-style action game, each level is actually a puzzle that requires spatial thinking and finesse. Players are only given a certain number of space rocks to destroy the spacecrafts, satellites, and astronauts of the planet earth. To add to the puzzling, you’ll often need to navigate around obstacles to reach your targets.
Trying to figure out the right trick to each level and then successfully aiming your flick is a great deal of fun, but it’s not particularly difficult. Lots of neat twists get added along the way, from magnetic meteors that draw and repel your projectiles to dormant rocks that you can activate by aiming your next flick in their general direction. Yet while these twists make the game more interesting and enjoyable, they fail in making the game “hard” in any way.
There’s not much of a challenge to be had in the game’s 50 levels, leading to an experience that can easily be completed in under an hour. The puzzles were fun despite the low difficulty, but without additional game modes No, Human really offers no reason to fire it up again once completed – and you can easily complete it in a single sitting. The developer has stated that he intends to release an expansion pack at some point, and while appreciated, No, Human could have really benefited from those extra levels in the original offering.
Presentation is a bit of a mixed bag. No, Human offers up gorgeous 3D visuals rife with personality, yet the game is inexplicably devoid of a musical score. There are little sound effects here and there, but music can really help set the tone of a game and its absence stood out like a sore thumb.
Still, the visuals more than make up for it. The game uses the Unity engine, and the graphics here easily rank among the best examples of Unity’s visual capabilities that we’ve seen on the iPhone. The game is also a universal app, and even blown up on the iPad, those graphics look just as sharp.
It’s charming, it’s playful, and it’s fun – but it’s also much shorter than we would have liked. If you’re ok with spending $2 on an app that you’ll commit less than an hour too, No, Human is a great puzzle game that will more than impress. If you’re looking with something with replay value, however, No, Human may not be the human-thwarting puzzler for you.