Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4S
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Probe the Humans is the kind of game that revels in making the player feel like an all-powerful, chaotic force of nature. It’s empowering in the same way something like Burnout Crash is. Sure there is skill and strategy involved but the real fun is in simply wreaking havoc.
Players control a flying saucer making its way across an infinite field of farm land. Armed with a powerful tractor beam, the goal is to fly as far as possible while sucking up anything and everything in one’s path from gatherings of pigs to trails of coins to crotchety old men. Players must exercise some caution though as picking up an item too big or pointy like an entire silo or a pitchfork wielding farmer will damage the ship. Taking too many hits ends the game and the room for error is surprisingly small. Also, there is so much going on onscreen at any given moment that aiming the laser through touch sometimes blocks important parts of the action. Still, the game shines when the saucer is ripping through the countryside absorbing what looks like entire state’s worth of agricultural economies. It’s delightful.
This is aided immensely by the clean, glowing graphics and sound effects that give the aliens, the humans, and the destruction itself a healthy amount of character. The surprisingly varied objects are well-detailed and little animations like the car crashes are nice touches. However, while the busy visuals add to the hectic atmosphere it’s a shame that so many of them have to be re-used. Players will end up repeatedly seeing the same animal clusters and stretches of grass or road. That’s the nature of these kinds of games but another background or two might have been nice.
Rounding out the package is a store where players can spend coins on health upgrades and new abilities, as well as a lengthy list of achievements that rewards players for tasks like crashing within the first 200 meters or unlocking all of the alternate character skins. Ultimately though, Probe the Humans does not work because of its depth. It works because destroying things is fun.