I slipped on my pineapple outfit. Felt the sweat begin to build on my palms and stood on the starting line. Everything was quiet, there was just a slight simmering restlessness behind me from the crowd gathered for today’s spectacle.
Standing with my chest slowly rising and falling with each breath and exhale I waited for the horn to sound. For the chaos to start. For the quest for the crown.
Then we were off, jostling and bumping into one another as we hustled and sprinted toward the wall, with one giant leap face first I smashed through the opening wall, landing on the soft cushioned floor and picking myself up began to run towards the next set of barriers.
Wall after wall fell as we dashed and shattered our way to the finish line. Suddenly the crowd grew more excited and energized. The mood of the air changed. We were nearing the end of the course.
I was running in a pack jostling near the front. Pushing, shoving, and jumping my way forward I flopped through a door and began to run as fast as my tiny legs could take me. Propelled to the front of the pack I glided through the final wall and passed right alongside the top place competitor and jumping just inches ahead finished in first to qualify for the next round.
This opening snapshot is just a tiny glimpse of the joys and magic of Mediatonic’s newest title Fall Guys and its ability to weave together fun and instantly compelling mini narratives within each match and overall game. Fall Guys is a title that simply seems to ooze charm and a sense of ease and fun that’s impossible to shake off you.
Over the course of four goofy, silly, rounds 60 competitors battle and challenge one another for the quest to be the Fall Guys champion. The four played by the That Nerdy team were the above mentioned wall challenge, stealing the tail off of another player, a team-based egg version of hungry hungry hippos, and, finally, a mad dash up a mountain to grab the gold crown and win the title.
It was made clear that there will be over 30 different games and round types available at launch. While varying in complexity and skill required, they all carried the weight and frantic, absurdist energy of classic game show competitions like Wipeout or Takeshi’s Castle (MXC for those of us in America).
The competition is seemingly premised on the reality that the entire notion of a massive reality competition is slightly ridiculous and embracing that goes out and tries to create the most cartoonish challenges they can. Fall Guys absolutely carries the legacy of those shows forward in crafting its own unique and joyous spin on that premise.
Just as games like Gang Beasts, Rocket League, and IDARB excel in instantly investing the player in the stakes of the games and helping them craft short mini-narratives and personal investment in what’s occurring, so too is Fall Guys a champion of throwing you in this absurd world and having it make sense as you make your desperate and hilarious way to the very top of the mountain.
Mediatonic has crafted what seems to be a joyous, silly, and utterly fun title that throughout our time playing left us laughing, driven to win, and constantly entertained. Taking its inspiration from a host of both classic Japanese and American competition game shows it seems primed to take its place in their topsy-turvy cartoon world pantheon. To the endless delight and anticipation of me.