With so many battle royale games at your fingertips, you’d be forgiven for struggling to find time to play them all. But there’s no doubt that massive hits like Fortnite, Apex Legends and PUBG have dominated the charts for ages now and remain some of the most-viewed games on YouTube and Twitch, cementing them as historically significant titles that will shape the future of the gaming landscape. However, a newcomer has now entered the ring to steal some of the thunder for itself, and it’s a significant change of pace from the usual running and gunning of its contemporaries.
Mediatonic’s colorful and unique Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout has been at the top of the Twitch charts since its release earlier this month, earning itself over 200,000 viewers at a time on any given evening. And it’s not hard to see why, either, as this battle royale is a quirky experience that aims to remind us all what video games are supposed to be about – fun, laughter and an endless supply of memories.
Fall Guys does away with looting and shooting and replaces it with anthropomorphic jellybeans who compete in a series of Mario Party-esque, physics-based mini-games. These quick and chaotic showdowns take place across five rounds, each one eliminating some of the original 60 players, with the final round leaving only a single jellybean left standing to win the crown. Whether you’re competing on vibrant obstacle courses full of treacherous traps, dodging fruit on a conveyor belt, or trying to work as a team to score in a soccer-style match, there are few games that offer such an incredible amount of humorous enjoyment.
While Fall Guys can occasionally be frustrating due to its exaggerated physics, it’s this very characteristic that also lends it so much staying power. As you jump over spinning poles and avoid those falling bananas, you’ll often find a pile-up of jellybeans all trying their very best to get back up and move on to qualify for the next round. Being trampled on and flung about as twenty jellybeans bounce around trying to climb up a ledge is so utterly comical that it’s easy to forget that some of your wins and losses will come down to a string of good or bad luck. It’s joyously lawless and over-the-top, and it’s one hell of a fun way to spend time with friends.
But the fun doesn’t end with the actual gameplay, as one of the most incredibly engaging and addicting features, at least for this journalist, is its loving focus towards its veritable smorgasbord of cosmetics. Funny and adorable costumes like a pigeon, a can of pineapple juice, or a hot dog are a joy to obtain and wear, and the ability to personalize your jellybean with dozens of strange colors and patterns lets you stand out from the crowd further. Even better, Mediatonic has opted to be reasonable about their pricing for these in-game items.
Plenty of currency – known here as kudos – can be earned by simply competing in rounds of the game, or you can purchase a relatively large amount of them for very affordable prices. For instance, with a single $4.99 purchase of 12,500 kudos, you’re likely to be able to afford upwards of three or four new personalization items, depending on what catches your eye, of course. Meanwhile, a high-end currency of crowns can only be earned in-game by winning episodes and can be used to buy legendary customization pieces to show everyone you’re frequently victorious.
The best news yet is that Fall Guys is one of August’s free PlayStation Plus games, so subscribers can grab it immediately on PS4 at no extra cost. Meanwhile, PC players can purchase the title for only $19.99 on Steam. Rest assured that the memories that will be made are worth so much more.