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  • Writer's pictureSofi

HUMANITY (2023)


When I first heard about Humanity back when it released, it didn’t really catch my attention. At first glance, it looked like a bit of a gimmicky game just for memes – play as a cute dog who controls humans. I didn’t really take the time to see what type of game it was, since the art style didn’t particularly catch my eye. Although my reviews have slowed during this transition time for Sleepy Toadstool, I have been playing a number of different games I haven’t reviewed. However, I recently I found myself feeling kind of stuck when deciding what game to play next, despite having a huge backlog of options. I was feeling a strong urge to play a puzzle game, but I couldn’t justify buying a new game. I happened to stumble upon Humanity when I sorted the PS Plus game library by “puzzle” genre, and realized it might be just what I was looking for. Humanity is a puzzle game where you lead a horde of humans through a series of challenges to solve puzzles. Humanity is simple-looking game with a silly premise, but it’s a catchy and addictive good time solving its puzzles.


In Humanity, you play as an ethereal-looking Shiba Inu. You're not sure who you are, but a voice in your head gives you instructions on how to lead humans to the “light” in different ways and challenges you through several puzzle trials. You learn more skills as you progress to new stages and you learn more about the mysterious "cores" that are speaking these instructions to you. I wouldn't say this game has an incredibly compelling story, but it's enough to make you curious about what the meaning of all these trials are and who's really in charge of all of this. All of these "god-like" responsibilities you're given are still underlined by a sense of humor. You're just a dog, after all, you have a button prompt for barking and you make humans do things like walk right off a cliff, push blocks into each other, and move in ridiculous paths like a game of snake. Early in the game, you’re introduced to the special golden humans called “Goldy” that often require an extra bit of challenge to bring to the end of the map. Collecting the Goldies in a level serves as valuable collectibles to fully complete that level and to unlock new items.


The level selector "room" is sparse and almost heavenly-looking. All the Goldies you find are collected here.

Humanity’s art style at first glance is nothing too impressive. However, as you progress through levels, the visuals become trippy and almost dreamlike - thousands of humans flowing in unison like a school of fish swimming in unison. The low-detail graphics allow for impressive uses humans almost as pixels to make a greater image. The rewards for collecting "Goldy" humans in this game includes both skins that change the art style of the humans and body types that can transform the humans to look like blocks or even like you (dogs). The music in Humanity can feel a little repetitive, but it also has a sense of concentrated intensity that allows you to focus on the level you're working on. The game also allows you to switch between songs at times, which helps if a particular melody is getting annoying after spending a lot of time on a level. I don't do this very often myself, but this would be a good game for listening to music or podcasts while playing.


One of my favorite skins I unlocked was turning all of my humans into dogs with shirts.

Where Humanity really shines is in its creative puzzles. The game introduces you to its mechanics slowly, allowing you to only set tiles for the humans to change their walking direction or jump. Later on, you can set tiles that do things like make the humans float temporarily or arms them with weapons. While most puzzles allow you to make changes to the map while the humans are in motion, some force you to place all your tiles at the start of the game before setting everything into motion. This kind of level requires a lot of strategizing and some trial-and-error. Having the ability to fast forward the movement of humans through a level is extremely valuable, as it allows multiple attempts to be a lot smoother and quicker. The occasional boss fights in this game are weirdly dreamlike and make use of the ability to have the humans follow you and use their weapons. However, I personally felt the first half of the game was a lot stronger than the second half. Puzzles based on strategic placement of tiles were more interesting to me than the bullet hell bosses or the high-action levels that involved preparing an army of humans for battle against a separate army of "others". These levels were a little unpredictable, as small differences in the number of humans or their path would make an impact on whether they would win the fight or not. I felt this was a little tedious, although it is satisfying to watch your army of little guys shoot through the other side's defenses and conquer the map.


It's incredibly satisfying when your perfectly placed tiles all work out correctly in the end.

Humanity turned out to be just the kind of game I was looking for to scratch that puzzle itch. It’s a game that I thought about a lot even when I wasn't playing - I was really hooked on it. I really recommend this game if you like goofy humor games or thought-out, longer puzzle levels to solve. I lost steam a little bit with the later levels, but it's still game you can get a ton out of by going back and getting the special collectibles in every area and unlocking every aesthetic upgrade. I was surprised how long it was, considering I tried to get all the Goldies but ended up having to pass on a decent few of them. It’s also worth mentioning the game has a level-creator feature that I haven’t gotten to play around with – I probably wouldn’t make my own level, but I would definitely be curious to check out user-created ones.


HUMANITY is available on PC, PS4, and PS5


Played on: PS5

Last Played: 2/17/2024

Playtime: 21 hrs

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