Human Resource Machine is an interesting take on the puzzle genre. The game takes place in a giant mail room building and depending on what floor you’re on, will determin what your challenge/puzzle is. On some floors you will gain a new ability or program to help you solve the games puzzles. The programs are simple instructions you build on the right hand side of the screen. some of the programs do different tasks like copy mail from a stack or to jump lines of code to repeat certain steps again. This is where the heart of the game is as there a number of ways to solve some of the puzzles. Depending on how well you’re at writing the code can determine how many steps some of the programs use. A secondary goal of each puzzle is to solve each puzzle in as little steps as possible. This can become challenging later in the game but, you always feel great when you finally solve them. If you fail a puzzle there is a rewind feature that will let you redo or change your solution. One of the issues I encountered while playing was that the calibration of the joycon would lose track of where I was at on-screen. To fix it, all I had to do was push the plus button, but it was still something I seen during gameplay.
The Graphics in the game are not bad but they aren’t great either. The art for the characters are super simple but they do work overall. They have a Tim Burton feel to them which is a nice touch. The stage designs are basically the same but very slightly from stage to stage. The graphics resemble something that you would see in a mobile game, In fact, I’m almost positive that it could be played on mobile devices. This is a budget title from the get go, but at least it isn’t garbage. The best moments are the occasional cut scenes, they’re similar to older black and white films. The animation’s during these moments are fantastic and I wish the game used them more often.
The music in the game also isn’t anything to write home about. While playing the game I never really notice the music. The sound design is decent enough, they’re most prevalent when you pickup/drop off mail, and when you’re right or wrong in your solutions.
The story is simple. The general idea is that you’re a new employee and your goal is to climb the ranks of the business. With each floor/puzzle you finish, time passes and you begin to grow with the company and take on more responsibility’s(harder puzzles). Other than that there is no character development. This isn’t too much of a problem as the main focus of this game are the puzzles. I would have like to see a little more story and character development though. Games like the Professor Layton series offer both the puzzles and story in spades but again though, it isn’t that big of an issue.
The replay value of the game is moderate. You can easily beat the game in a couple of hours but if you’re looking for more of a challenge you can always try to make your solution shorter if possible. Like I stated earlier, the puzzles are the heart of the game and they can be fun. The best part is when you are able to find a shorter solution as that can often be much more challenging as you only have so many moves you can make. Chances are that would be the only reason that you would really come back to this title as there isn’t much else to offer the player.
Human Resource Machine is not a reason to go out and buy a Switch, but it is a decent game to play when you are done with Zelda. It’s also a great way to hold you over until Splatoon 2 or the other titles are released. The often clever solutions or requirements to solve the puzzles can be addicting. The occasional controller issues aside, this is a fun game, although it is a flawed game. The music is lacking and the graphics are “ok”, I will admit however that the designs of the characters are good.
This is a budget game in the end and not a bad one. If you have an extra 10 bucks on you, this is worth it, and is a nice way to keep you busy for at least a little bit. Human Resource Machine earns a 7/10.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo Switch code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to email@example.com.
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