If there is any game that is getting players through the current global pandemic, it’s Fall Guys. This unlikely gaming hit makes a twist on the battle royale genre by purely relying on its simplicity and the interactions between its players. Each game starts with 60 players and they will be progressively eliminated throughout five rounds of minigames. Sounds simple enough, right?
However, straight from the get-go, players will realize one important aspect that sets Fall Guys apart from any other game in its genre: your avatar is just so clumsy. You play as an adorably excited character with a minion-like figure and two small black pupils. You can run without having to press another button, but you can just as easily trip and fall, especially in the most crowded minigames. You can jump and dive, but you must always consider how much time it will take to recover from that fall. And what makes this design choice so effective is that it puts most players in an equal playing field. People can buy skins and costumes for their characters, but they can’t enhance them or unlock new abilities. Everyone is just as clumsy as you are, and this makes it so that defeats often feel like they were your fault and not the game’s.
Fall Guys might be a simple game, but that simplicity is beautifully complemented by the sheer variety of minigames. There are 25 minigames to play from, making it so that every match feels different from the previous one. Every minigame will require an individual strategy and most of them are easy to understand through mere intuition. “The Whirlygig,” a minigame based on avoiding fans and turning bars, allows players to adopt their own strategy to succeed: some will try to get a risky boost forward by getting hit by the bars; others will play it safe and avoid them. “See-Saw,” which has quickly gained a reputation of being difficult, sees players navigating through platforms that tilt horizontally depending on where the player is standing. Some of the team-based minigames, like “Rock ‘n Roll” and “Egg Scramble,” can be unfair if you are paired with teammates who don’t cooperate, but they can also be quite fun when everyone is committed.
And yet, Fall Guys’ defining quality is its difficulty. Every round sees you battling against overcrowded levels, tough platforming challenges and your own character’s ability to land a jump. It is one of the most engaging games I have played in a while, as I often found myself holding my controller tight throughout the matches, hoping that I wouldn’t mess up unexpectedly. Getting eliminated in Fall Guys can be quite frustrating, especially if it is caused by an unfair situation, but winning a match feels incredibly satisfying. Plus, thanks to the game’s nearly-instant ability to join a new match, you won’t have much time to dwell on past failures and will be eager to jump back in. It is this genuine excitement what makes Fall Guys as successful and fun as it is.
A review by Leonardo Lopez Carreno