The Humans Collection (PS4) Review
Neat that a forgotten puzzle series was revived from the dead
Googling the passwords let’s players jump around and skip those pesky stages
Other than save states, no other modern quality-of-life emulation features available
Complicated controls and gameplay with no tutorial or instructions
Not all versions of The Humans are included (only SNES/GB versions are here)
A cross between Lemmings and The Lost Vikings, The Humans was a puzzle platform game from the early 90s originally published by GameTek. Piko Interactive has revived this dead and forgotten series by releasing The Humans Collection on modern platforms at a budget price. Just be aware, not every version of this puzzle game is included and, well, it still plays like an early 90s puzzle game.
From a 2D side scrolling perspective, the goal is to coordinate the positioning of cavemen to reach the goal or collect the thing. An easy example is to explain the first stage where the player needs to move one caveman against a wall and remain still using the human ladder action. Then switch to the next cavemen to climb to that next ledge, collect the spear, which will eventually be used as a weapon or tool.
Unfortunately, this series has not aged well. The control scheme is confusing at best and the game never explains how to play, what to do, or what the little human action icons mean. Making matters worse, the new 2022 menu interface does not include scans of the original instruction manuals or even the box art, leaving players left scratching their heads through trial and error. The most annoying aspect is the strict time limit on each stage. The game puts a stupidly restrictive time limit on the player, making it nearly impossible to clear a stage on the first try. Even if you know how to beat the stage, there is a chance you still might not have enough time to do the required actions thanks to the brutal time limit and unforgiving gameplay.
Calling this compilation The Humans Collection is overcooking the presentation. Thing is, only the SNES and original Gameboy versions are playable, dubbed the 16-bit and handheld versions respectively, when a version was released on almost every platform at the time including Genesis and the Amiga. The only quality of life feature included is the ability to use save states. There are no extensive visual options, filters, control options, scans of development material… nothing. The Humans did not use a battery save, instead opting for a password system. A quick Google search can allow players to input these short passwords, but why wasn’t such a feature included from the main menu? It would have been nice to just start on any stage without doing research online. Instead, players are simply just playing a ROM while having access to Trophies/Achievements.
Unless you have strong nostalgia for this forgotten puzzle series, you’ll want to stay away from this tedious trial-and-error based bundle.
Not As Good As: the Blizzard Collection with the Lost Vikings, Blackthorne, and Rock’n Roll Racing
Not As Good As: the Neogeo Pocket Color Collection Vol.1
Don’t Forget About: the Sega Ages re-released games
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com
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