Every now and then an indie game takes the world by storm.
Limbo, Super Meat Boy and Minecraft all came from humble beginnings but went on to be household names. Well, as long as your household knows its way around a control pad.
Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout looks like it might be next, especially with PS Plus subscribers able to download it for free until the end of August. Could this massively multiplayer party game be the next Rocket League?
What is it, then?
Imagine tackling a random selection of Total Wipeout’s obstacle courses dressed in a Mr Blobby suit. Sounds challenging, right? Now imagine doing that while 59 other people in similar outfits try to beat you to the finish line, and you’ve got some idea of what Fall Guys is all about.
Each ‘Show’ starts with 60 contestants but a bunch are eliminated at the end of each round, until the final few face off for a chance to be crowned champion. How far you get in each one determines how much Kudos you earn, which can be exchanged for outfits to make your Fall Guy stand out from the crowd.
Is it any good?
2 million sales on Steam in its first week can’t be wrong, but more tellingly it only takes a matter of minutes to get hooked.
The 25 minigames look simple enough – climb a hill without getting caught by a rising tide of slime, make your way from A to B across a grid of randomly disintegrating tiles, stay on top of a revolving platform as various obstacles approach – but with 60 brightly coloured jelly beans fighting for space they quickly descend into chaos. One false move can send you back to the start or eliminate you completely, potentially snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
If that’s not enough, comedian, author, musician, and former Vine star Brian ‘Limmy’ Limond has been playing it on Twitch recently – and if it’s good enough for the New Master of Flash 2002, it’s good enough for you.
Fall Guys’ popularity has meant some people have struggled to join games recently, and PC players have reported a few cheats using third-party software to hack their way to unearned wins, but you’re more likely to curse how addictive it is.
Some of Fall Guys’ minigames are also team-based, but with no way to communicate with your teammates they’re still played in a very individual way. Once you’ve grabbed your own tail in Tail Tag, for example, there’s not much you can do to help out anyone else, so if your team is eliminated it can feel a little futile.
While 25 minigames might seem like a lot, some crop up more regularly than others, particularly in the early stages, so we do fear for Fall Guys’ longevity. Fortunately, developer Mediatonic has already said it’s working on some new ones to keep things feeling fresh, with the first due to land tomorrow.