One of the more popular indie games in recent years has to be Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy. It gained massive popularity due to its relentless difficulty, which was accentuated by purposefully awkward controls and in game taunting from the creator. Of course popularity breeds imitation and that’s what we get with Human Rocket Person. This game copies a lot of elements from that game, including the developers making it obvious that its difficulty and awkward controls are a selling point. However, even the most sincere form of flattery will get you nowhere if the game isn’t fun to play.
The developers proudly advertise the fact that Human Rocket Person features awkward controls and dare players to master them. Funnily enough, this game isn’t really that difficult to control! You traverse the world on a pogo stick and it’s pretty accurate, all things considered. You push the control stick left or right to lean back or forth on the pogo stick, and you press A to hop. In order to move you need to be facing forward or back while hopping and you can build momentum to bounce higher or to move faster. Your character is also top heavy, so you’ll have to factor that into how you move past certain obstacles.
The controls, for the most part, work perfectly fine. Obviously controlling a pogo stick can be tricky, but as far as actually moving around there’s no real issue. That being said, the controls only start to become an issue when flying is introduced. If you collect a few rotten apples in a level you will fill up a meter that allows you to fly in the air. While it sounds like it would make traversing the levels a breeze, it really just makes everything a lot harder. The controls for flying are the exact same as on the ground, which means your character is still top heavy. This makes steering in the air a pain, as your character can flip wildly out of control with even the slightest tap of the joystick.
The game tries to make its difficulty a selling point, but in all honesty, the game isn’t that difficult. Each level has you exploring certain scenarios while also collecting a bunch of red apples. The apples are optional collectibles, so they don’t really add any difficulty in completing the stages. Each area is fairly short, and the controls are good enough that they really don’t hinder you that much. The later levels in the game make use of steeper slopes and longer platform gaps, which makes flying a necessity and of course that’s where the controls really turn into a problem, but with short stages I still found them pretty easy to get through.
For a game that’s obviously inspired by Getting Over It, it seems to be missing what made that game so rage inducing. Here there are tiny levels, but that game had a giant level where if you made a tiny mistake you could easily be sent all the way back to where you began, losing hours of progress. The controls aren’t nearly as difficult here and so the entire homage sort of falls apart.
Getting Over It also featured a lot of charm, which is absent here. It was made to purposefully make the player angry, and this goes beyond just the controls and level design. The game would often taunt the player when they made a mistake, either by playing soothing music or stating a philosophical quote about disappointment of perseverance, which oftentimes led to more anger. This game, however, fails to connect to the player on a personal level and thus doesn’t have the same impact.
Like everything else, Human Rocket Person’s replay value is rather average. Each level has two optional objectives to complete (find a certain number of apples and beat the stage in a certain amount of time). Sure, this adds some incentive to play them again, but it’s not a lot to entice someone to keep coming back for more. The completion bonuses for the extra objectives didn’t appeal to me whatsoever. Maybe if this game really grabs your attention the first time around, then you’d probably have some fun playing through the levels multiple times, but completing them once was enough fulfillment for this reviewer.
When all is said and done we get a rather mediocre experience. It doesn’t live up to the game it’s trying to emulate, and there’s just not a lot of fun to be had here. The game’s $5 price tag means you won’t be out much if you don’t have a good time, but it’s probably wise to save that money and put it toward something more entertaining.
Human Rocket Person Review
- Graphics - 5.5/105.5/10
- Sound - 5/105/10
- Gameplay - 6.5/106.5/10
- Lasting Appeal - 5/105/10
Final Thoughts: MEDIOCRE
Human Rocket Person is an OK experience that will be instantly forgotten after the credits roll. It’s missing the charm and innovation of the game it’s trying to copy and fails to capitalize on anything. It’s not a bad game, but it’s not a good one either.