Human Resource Machine (Wii U) Review

By Lex Firth 06.03.2017

Review for Human Resource Machine on Wii U

Almost every single gamer has, at one point in their lives, resolved to make a game of their own. In a medium that's bursting with creativity, it's not surprising that everyone has their own ideas and aspirations, but it's also unsurprising that very few of these ideas actually come to be, thanks to one very large issue - programming is hard. It's a daunting hobby that's thwarted the designs of thousands of would-be developers - or is it really that hard? Tomorrow Corporation, the team behind World of Goo and Little Inferno (both due out on Nintendo Switch soon, along with this very game), sets out to prove it's not that tough in computing puzzler, Human Resource Machine.

Don't go into Human Resource Machine expecting to master the art of computing - it admittedly only scratches the surface - but most newcomers will leave the game having learned at least something. It takes the form of a puzzle game set in a small office building, with a set of numbers on the left and an output conveyer on the right. Using a varied range of preset commands, it's up to the player to convert these numbers based on whatever the head office has decided is necessary, with tasks ranging from simple designs such as adding numbers together, to more complicated requests like only outputting positive integers.

At its core, the game is designed to make the player feel clever, and it certainly does. Although many of the early levels have incredibly simple rules, as a newcomer, it still feels great to find the solution. The learning curve is well-crafted, meaning that even at its most difficult, gamers are never underprepared for the task at hand; for the more astute programmers, there are also optional harder puzzles that will really get the cogs turning.

Screenshot for Human Resource Machine on Wii U

It's all wrapped together in a gorgeous package: the bouncy, industrialised soundtrack is a real treat that really complements the play-style, and the graphical approach is unmistakably that of Tomorrow Corp's previous efforts - the heavily stylised characters match their hilariously drawn counterparts of World of Goo and Little Inferno fame. There's even a plot included, which is fittingly kooky, dealing with a robot invasion and its effects on the company itself. It's enjoyable, if a little on the short side.

The length of the game itself, in fact, is to its detriment - with only around forty puzzles to solve. It doesn't last longer than a few hours (give or take a few hours, depending on skill level), and there's little reason to revisit once it's been beaten. What is there, however, is a real treat to play.

It won't be for everyone; it treads a dangerous line between too easy for seasoned programmers and too impenetrable and uninteresting for the completely inexperienced. That said, Human Resource Machine is a great addition to the Tomorrow Corporation line-up (and its estranged cousin, Henry Hatsworth), and a fantastic way to tickle the brain for a few hours.

Screenshot for Human Resource Machine on Wii U

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

A heavily stylised game based on programming is hardly destined for universal appeal, but those who do fall into its niche will find plenty to love about Human Resource Machine. Whether you are unfamiliar entirely with computing, or a professional in the field, the charm on the game's surface is such that it's impossible not to fall in love with the cute characters and hilarious dialogue, even if it's all over a little too soon.

Developer

Tomorrow Corporation

Publisher

Tomorrow Corporation

Genre

Puzzle

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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