Publisher: Devolver Digital / Developer: Mediatonic / Platform: Playstation 4, PC / Release Date: August 4, 2020
Fortnite, PUBG, Apex Legends. You can have them. It seems like every single time I try to dive right into a new battle royal game, I’m put off by each of their complexities and the steep learning curve it takes to get good. It’s intimidating. Battle royale games can do that to you. You’re in for a couple of minutes and before you know it, it’s over before it even started. Sometimes you just want to have fun. Sometimes you just want to flail around aimlessly towards the goal without a care in the world.
Fall Guys is the new kid on the battle royale block and unless you’ve been under a rock, it’s kind of a big deal. Unlike most of the other games in this genre, Fall Guys isn’t a shooter. No, this is a platformer. Actually, it’s a game show. Wait, no, it’s like you took a bunch of bean shape ragdolls and made them compete in a variety of games and obstacle courses. Yeah, that last one sounds right.
Falling for Glory
What makes Fall Guys so unique is that it’s a game where every player has a chance. You and 59 other players competing in Mario Party styled games where a certain number of players are eliminated after each round. There’s a simplicity to it. Players control their very own Fall Guy, which is the titular bean-shaped character with stubby little arms and legs. Controlling a Fall Guy is probably one of the easiest control schemes I’ve encountered. There are relatively few buttons you need to learn. You can move, control the camera and the only other actions are jump, dive, and grab. It easy peasy lemon squeezy.
Several rounds of Fall Guys means different courses and games to play through. The first round is always an obstacle course with the starting 60 players. You can still feel the sting of being eliminated in the first round, but it’s a lot less likely than you think. You don’t have to be first to cross the finish line, just not the last. Some games even put you on teams with other players. While players are eliminated little by little each round, the game is built to make sure the fun isn’t over so quickly. Only in the last game do you truly compete for that number one spot.
Playground of Fun
There’s a lot of excitement to playing Fall Guys. As far as casual games go this one pretty much nails it. Yeah, you can get the hang of some of the courses but ultimately, it never feels like one player has an advantage over the other. At the core of Fall Guys is a physics-based game. Think early Little Big Planet where you have to time your jumps accordingly to make up for Sackboy’s unwieldiness. For the most part, no matter how good anyone is at the game, the ragdoll movement and weight of the characters makes everything feel unpredictable. It’s an even playing field.
That’s what makes it so much fun. The unpredictability. It means anyone can join in on the fun. Even if you haven’t played in a while, it’s easy to jump back into. You get absorbed in its games and courses, all while having a laugh at how much ridiculousness is happening on the screen. How could you not enjoy a game where a big fan keeps knocking you 30 feet across the map?
Yeah, I care about making it to the final round but ultimately, it’s all about enjoying the ride along the way. Even when you lose, loading up another game is quick and seamless, which means you’ll just be saying “one more game won’t hurt” over and over again. Even better is playing with friends and watching them go through the same struggle or cheering the other on as they try to qualify for the next round. Fall Guys is the perfect mix of party games like Mario Party and this generation’s battle royale craze.