GOG offers another blast from the past with the exclusive puzzle-platformer The Humans series in one nice little bundle.
The digital DRM-free service GOG isn’t simply known as an alternative distribution platform that features indie projects or bigger games, as there are always some surprising releases that can’t be found anywhere else. So Imagitec Design’s The Humans, The Humans 2: The Jurassic Levels, and The Humans III: Evolution—Lost in Time… fit this forgotten classic formula perfectly. These are games I kind of remembered playing back in the days, or at least the first one, but I can’t say in what form, if it was on a friend’s Amiga or on a cover disc (maybe even floppy!). Still, this is a series that deserves to be discovered and experienced by everyone.
The main goal of all games is to bring a group of humans to the end of a level, which isn’t easy, as it plays in an age where wild beasts and dinosaurs populate Earth and want to kill the player. Switching between characters and using their abilities for the right purpose at the right time, even making human ladders in order to reach higher places, makes this a spiritual sequel to the popular Lemmings series, but with a Neanderthal or Shaman magic twist. Using the environment to one’s advantage or even beasts like a pterodactyl that can be ridden further sets it apart from other imitators. Losing humans on the way shouldn’t happen, but if it does, then it’s possible to rescue others during stages and add them to one’s tribe, as the number of humans is carried over from level to level. The game still looks rather pretty with fun comic animations and hand-drawn backgrounds, clearly showing the early 90ies heritage, but also bringing with it its charm.
The first game sets the stage, while the second one adds new tools in the form of fire, weapons, the wheel, or deodorant. The third and final instalment goes even more bonkers, as it tells the story about Earth’s greatest historical figures being captured by alien zoo keepers and the humans having to find six pieces of a time machine to bring them back to their appropriate time periods. All these games with their many levels and challenges can now be experienced DRM-free on GOG in a single bundle, and it’s really worth it if you want to travel back in time yourself and see that the 90ies weren’t simply dominated by a group of suicidal lemmings.
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