Fall Guys is one of those games that just clicks the moment you see it in action. Pitched as the Battle Royale genre meets Takeshi's Castle and Total Wipeout, you have to question how the concept hasn't already been capitalised on in the years since PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and Fortnite took over the world. Luckily for developer Mediatonic, however, it's first past the post. The British team has managed to put together something that is euphoric, impressive, and a real laugh -- even in defeat. Fall Guys is a complete and utter delight.
Much like any other game of the genre it belongs to, Fall Guys is all about the battle for first place. 60 players compete in up to five different rounds to determine a victor, but this is more about racing to the finish line than shooting competitors in the face. Each round whittles down the competition with obstacle courses, team-based matches, and tests of survival before one final challenge determines who comes out on top. It likes to keep things simple and the control scheme is what backs that up.
This is the perfect title for both adults and children with a jump, dive, and a grab to master. Utilising just these three features is enough to earn you a spot on the podium as the simple yet chaotic events are all roughly of the same difficulty. You'll quickly find your favourites in amongst the 25 variations, but each and every course has something unique to offer.
Test your balance in See Saw, navigate moving doors in Gate Crash, and race to the top in Slime Climb; hold your own in Hex-A-Gone, stake your claim in Fall Mountain, and avoid active fans in The Whirlygig. That's just a small selection of the events which make up the base game, each putting their own little twist on the comical concept. They're all an absolute ton of fun, which combined with the colourful art style and amusing nature of every individual Fall Guy, makes for a game you'll never want to put down. It's such a moreish experience that is determined to put a smile across your face at every turn.
And that sense is only heightened when playing with friends. It is such a laugh to watch your buddy fail to clear an obstacle ahead of you or work as a team to qualify for the next round together. Or you could take that banter in another direction and push your pal off the map and eliminate them -- either way works. Fall Guys is already thoroughly enjoyable when played alone, but get a couple of mates involved and you could find yourself competing for first place until the early hours of the morning.
Speaking of which, you will on occasion be forced into team-based rounds that make you to work alongside randoms. And it's here where things get ever so slightly sketchy, unfortunately. Most of these events are perfectly fine -- Fall Ball is the game's take on Rocket League while Hoopsie Daisy has you jumping through hoops to score points for your team. It's Team Tail Tag we take issue with.
This particular task asks teams to collect tails from opposing players to ensure they have the most when time is up. You'll do that by grabbing them off the buttocks of other Fall Guys, but the problem is that once you've done that, all you can really do is mindlessly run about the map dodging everyone else. In a game that is ultimately all about crowning a single winner, it feels a bit unfair to have such little impact on your team's chances of progressing. A one-point advantage is very rarely enough to win the match so sometimes all you can do is watch as your team fails in dramatic fashion while you have a tail attached to your behind.
In the grand scheme of things, though, this problem matters little. Fall Guys is a complete riot of a time that oozes positivity and enjoyment. It's the perfect title to just boot up for 15 minutes before moving on to something more serious. Or you could invest hours of your time into it and never get bored. It is that good.
You'll probably want some sort of goal to aim for during that time, and thankfully Mediatonic has delivered. Cosmetic customisation allows you to decorate your own Fall Guy in various colours and outfits, earned by levelling up a progression path closely resembling a Battle Pass. This resets every season and is completely free -- there is no paid path to gain access to bonus items. As such, not a single player has to be left behind if they don’t want to invest real money into the game. There is an in-game store containing microtransactions, but again these items are purely cosmetic skins and emotes.
Anyway, they don't even matter too much because boy are the costumes you unlock naturally wild and wacky in the best way. From dressing up as a pigeon or a hot dog right the way through to a pineapple getup and a chicken suit, you can really start to create a distinct character as you progress. Place decorative colours and patterns on top of that and you can end up with a ninja resembling a Pear Drop. Great stuff.
Even the soundtrack is a joy to listen to. With high-tempo tracks that'll get you pumped as soon as an event begins, these are tunes you'll find yourself humming along to even when you’re not playing. It helps to create synergy with the colourful visuals -- this really is a game based entirely on unadulterated fun.
Fall Guys is the Battle Royale game for those who don't like Battle Royale games. This is enjoyment and positivity in its purest form with a long list of events that are primed to put a smile across your face, no matter whether you're playing alone or with friends. Your family will catch you chuckling, your buddies won't forget that time you cried with laughter, and you'll do it all over again because there’s nothing else like it. Fall Guys is just the best.