The Humans

When I was a kid, I spent a ton of time with an obscure little game called The Humans. It originally launched on Amiga in 1992, but it was later ported to PC, Sega Genesis, Super NES, Game Boy, and more. I was a Genesis kid, so I played this on my trusty old Genesis.

I’m not sure what led me to actually try The Humans, but it was probably a weekend rental discovery. I would often ride my bike to the local video rental place and plunk down my allowance on whatever caught my fancy. This is how I discovered the absolutely incredible Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster’s Hidden Treasure. No joke, that game was amazing.

In case you’re not familiar (and let’s be honest, you probably aren’t), The Humans is a puzzle game in the vein of Lemmings or The Lost Vikings. You have a tribe of cavemen, and you must make them work together to solve platform puzzles. Sometimes you’ll stack them on top of each other, sometimes you’ll need to use a wheel or toss a spear. But if too many of your cavemen die, you can no longer progress, so you have to try to solve these puzzles with as few deaths as possible.

It’s a ton of fun, and the soundtrack is filled with some absolute jams (if you’re into super catchy low-bit music). However, it seems to mostly have been forgotten.

The Humans

So you can imagine my surprise when I was casually browsing the PlayStation marketplace and stumbled over the re-release of The Humans. Apparently, this landed on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S on February 2, 2022, and then on Nintendo Switch the following day. It’s long been available for PC on GOG, but modern consoles? This is an incredible find.

To make matters even more mind-bending, this modern port is being handled by Piko Interactive. I actually interviewed Piko’s founder Eli Galindo way back in 2015 for Retrovolve (Half-Glass Gaming’s retro-based sister site). What a small world!

Now, apparently this is supposed to include the original Amiga version, the Genesis port, and the Game Boy port. As far as I can tell, my beloved Genesis version seems to be missing. I’m not sure what’s up with that. (The menu options include the 16-bit version and the portable version, and the 16-bit version seems to be the Amiga version. I can tell it’s not the Genesis version, because that version had more detailed pixel art and a very memorable game over screen with a monkey driving a car.) Unless I’m missing something here?

I did email my homies at Piko to see if I can get to the bottom of this, and I’ll update this article if I learn anything.

In the meantime, if you’re a fan of puzzle platformers, The Humans is a must-play. Just be warned: You will never get the music out of your head.

You can check out the relaunch trailer for The Humans below.

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