By Isaac Espinosa
Can you do it? Can you above and beyond, avoiding an array of obstacles, and rise past all other players in order to claim the crown! Be the last player standing as you make it through the chaotic fun of “Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockdown”! Fall Guys was developed by Mediatonic and published to the PC and PS4 by Devolver Digital. It’s an action-based battle royale-style platformer that encourages players to be competitive and complete the numerous minigames in order to obtain the ultimate Fall Guys symbol of victory: a single crown for the victor to keep as their own. But what makes seemingly everyone in the world want to claim the crown for themselves? Let’s find out!
Fall Guys has a fairly simple goal: make your way through a cavalcade of minigames; if you outlast your rivals, you’ll earn the crown that secures your victory. If you don’t make it, you’ll be eliminated and have to start from the beginning. But even when you lose, you’ll still get experience points and in-game currency known as Kutos, so you obtain some form of benefit even when you don’t win. A desire to claim victory is all that’s truly needed in order to make the player-base of Fall Guys as competitive as it is. However, Fall Guys wouldn’t be half the game it aims to be without the exciting minigames that players can access.
There are 24 different challenges in Fall Guys, with each session which takes up four to five different rounds at most. You encounter one game or another at random, and each one has its own hurdles to overcome. Some are team-based, in that you’re assigned to a specific team and must work with other players in order to qualify for the next round. The minigames include “Slime Climb” in which you have to make it past a hill of dangerous obstructions while trying not to fall into the rising slime below, “See-Saw,” in which all of the players have to maneuver through multiple seesaw-esque playground platforms, and “Egg Scramble,” which requires players to hoard the most eggs for their team before time runs out. All of the minigames offer their own individual goals, and all of them are hectically fun and addictive, making you want to play more and more.
For me, a big problem with Fall Guys, though, is its repetitive nature. Strategy for all the minigames become memorizable after a certain amount of time playing them. And once you understand how each of them works, they become easier and easier to play through. Unlike other battle royale type games such as Fortnite, Fall Guys is relatively easy to get good at. And although this may seem like a positive thing for the more casual player, it doesn’t help the game from a competitive standpoint when everyone can essentially master the game with relatively little effort. Unless Fall Guys adds more content in a future update to try and liven things up, I’ll turn to other games quickly.
So while Fall Guys is an exciting and addictive game to play because of the variety and it’s fun minigames, I do not believe that its popularity will last unless it is updated to become more complex and competitive. The experience didn’t leave me unsatisfied at all. But after a while, I felt like I had seen everything that Fall Guys had to offer. Hopefully, in the future, such changes can breathe new life into Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockdown.
Bronx native Isaac Espinosa is a senior intern at the New York Videogame Critics Circle. Recently, Isaac was named the Circle’s first assistant mentor.