What is Fall Guys and why is it so darn fun?
No guns, no violence, and just cute high-pitched squeals, yet it's becoming the most popular game of 2020.
For those not already engrossed, you may have seen videos on your Facebook feed of jelly bean-shaped characters jumping and running around bright and cushy platforms.
You may also have thought to yourself that it looks like a video game for toddlers and young children. Yet Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout has somehow grown to become the most popular title in gaming today.
What is Fall Guys, anyway?
Remember all the fun you had as a kid in sprawling indoor playgrounds at SAFRA? The video game taps on that same wondrous charm to emulate popular television shows such as Wipeout and Ninja Warrior, with all the funny mishaps that come with them.
Each session consists of 60 players, with the number slowly withering down as players jump and waddle through a set of four colourful stages until the last ‘jelly bean’ standing.
There’s no meaningful prize for being the last one standing (and I am not just saying this because I am bitter for never winning) but the fun of Fall Guys truly comes from the possibility of wild interactions with other players.
Be it a race or a survival challenge, things can get chaotic quickly with the sheer number of players bunched together and the game’s ragdoll physics.
Ill-timed jumps across key platforms can lead characters tumbling into the abyss too, but not before you hear cute high-pitched squeals. Obstacles, meanwhile, can send characters hilariously flying across the screen.
In many ways, it’s also a game that feels tailor-made for Singaporeans and our ‘kiasu’ spirit.
Stages often force dozens of players to squeeze through tight doorways or jockey for room on tiny platforms; you would think this game wouldn’t be popular with youths working in the central business district (CBD) especially when they are forced into similar experiences every morning on the train.
Of course, Fall Guys also presents multitudes of opportunities to sabo and be terrible to both friends and other players. While you can’t outright push anyone off platforms, you can grab and pull those in front of you or stand in key spots to prevent anyone else from making key jumps.
There is definitely a lot of schadenfreude in Fall Guys but it’s hard to stay mad even if you are a victim. Everything about the game is cute and light-hearted, and you could always just jump into the next session and be back in the action within minutes.
The game’s popularity can also be attributed to its overall simplicity. The controls are simple and anyone can clearly tell the goal of each stage. The game makes it easy to root for friends or hope for their demise – and perhaps not just in-game wise after a few sessions together.
As far as gaming trends go, Fall Guys is a strange but welcomed anomaly. There are no guns, no blood, or really anything remotely provocative.
Whether it is with family or friends, practically anyone can pick up the game or watch along and have a good time. It squeezes all the fun and magic of theme parks into a spectacular video game.
Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout is now available on PC and PS4.