Whilst I got the opportunity to play a whole bunch of amazing games at PAX Aus this year, a genuine standout for me was Fall Guys. The game was first announced at Devolver Digital’s “anti-E3” press conference this year and has been on my radar ever since.
Fall Guys is a 100 player knockout tournament presented as a colourful game show. It lets you select and customise your character before you’re thrown into minigame after minigame that will slowly whittle down the players until 1 reigns supreme. It’s a game being developed by Mediatonic who have a crazy diverse history of development, previously releasing (amongst other things) the pigeon dating simulator, Hatoful Boyfriend, as well as the Gears of War / Funko Pop crossover, Gears Pop!. With Mediatonic joining forces with the always irreverent publishing label Devolver Digital, you just know you’re in for some insane fun.
I was one of the many PAX Aus attendees that were instantly drawn to the colour and vibrancy of Fall Guys. We were lucky too, because it was the game’s first time being playable for the public. The inspiration Fall Guys takes from television programs such as Takeshi’s Castle or Total Wipeout was instantly obvious. In fact, the very first minigame was a Takeshi’s Castle style door challenge where you’re presented with several doors but only some will allow your safe passage.
I got an opportunity to talk to Fall Guys Lead Designer, Joe Walsh, who reaffirmed just how important those inspirations were for the game. In fact he shared how these game shows basically kicked off the idea for Fall Guys entirely.
On top of the game show comparison, Joe also pointed out how he is perfectly happy to take inspiration from other products with Battle Royale games and Gang Beasts getting a mention. The comparison to Gang Beasts feels particularly apt, as the silly flailing of the characters as they ragdoll across the screen is comically reminiscent. Joe even said he’s discussed the possibility of Fall Guys incorporating mechanics like picking up your foes, ala Gang Beasts, or a closing circle, ala Battle Royale games, for future minigame ideas. At launch Joe predicts the game will have between 20-30 minigames available, but with constant updates, he stated they may well have hundreds of minigames available years after launch.
As somebody who got a chance to try the game in its early development stages, I’m very excited about the potential of this title. I was ready to queue up again after finishing the game and being disappointed I didn’t make it to the final round. There’s an awesome semi-competitive element to the game where you’re most certainly trying your best to win, but you don’t feel particularly bitter or stressed out when things aren’t going perfectly.
Fall Guys is currently set to release in early to mid 2020 on both PC and PS4 with the potential for more platforms down the track. I don’t know about you, but these adorable, little Fall Guys are quickly becoming my favourite gaming mascots yet.