Review: Do Not Fall – Run For Your Drink
Do Not Fall came out of nowhere for me. There were a couple of posts on the site about this game, but besides for that I had no idea what it was all about. When I set out to review it, I discovered a lighthearted game filled with its fair share of alluring attributes. I’ve poured over six hours into this game and loved every minute. Let me tell you why.
First off, Do Not Fall is one of those games that tells you almost exactly how to play in its title. From a 3/4th top-down perspective, you control a bipedal bunny running from the beginning of a stage to the end. You can jump using the X button and dash using the Square button. A combination of these two controls leads to loftier leaps. The objective of the game is to collect keys to get through gates and eventually reach the end of a stage. There are different collectibles strewn about the platforms, spicing up the scenery and calling to your inner hoarder. Golden keys (3 in each stage) will boost your score and work toward unlocking items in the shop. Silver screw nuts also add to your stage score and can be used to purchase unlocked abilities, characters, concept art, etc. The overall twist in Do Not Fall is that most of the platforms in each stage will fall a second after you step on them. At first this feels like a fun addition to a cute game. Later on, though, you’ll undoubtedly feel the pressure as you clamor towards the next piece of solid ground.
There are seven drinks – acting as worlds – in the game, each with ten uniquely themed levels. The Sparkling Water levels, for example, are underwater themed, while the Marshmallow Hot Chocolate levels take place in the clouds. Along with a new coat of paint to look at, the different worlds also offer different enemy types, platform types, and other hazards. In the Milk levels, sheep jump from platform to platform, knocking you off if you come close. In the Shaved Ice levels, basic ice platforms are slippery and some snowmen toss their heads at you. All in all you’ll find you won’t get bored as you play through the entire game. Each stage bears its basic objective (get to the end) as well as a challenge. The challenges include things like “Collect no screws,” “Drop off all spike balls,” and “Trigger under four eagles.” Some of the challenges cannot be completed your first time through a stage, which encourages replayability. There are also speech bubbles on the stage select screen that notify you if a friend has a higher score. There’s not much more motivating than seeing “kassatsu beat you” plastered on your screen.
The art style in Do Not Fall is round and colorful, reminiscent of Super Monkey Ball. I’m having a tough time describing the graphical design without using words like ‘friendly,’ ‘kiddy,’ ‘cuddly,’ and ‘adorable.’ I hope that by cramming all of them into one sentence, you get the point and can move on with the review. The sound design can be described in a similar fashion. The tunes in the game aren’t outstanding, but they’re all laid back, lulling you into a false sense of safety. Imagine Jack Johnson strumming on an acoustic guitar while Dave Matthews belts out some catchy runs on a marimba. Take a second and actually imagine that happening. That’s what the music in Do Not Fall is like. The sound effects are all on point, too. You’re given audio and visual cues when your dash refills, your character cycles through a couple of different screams each time you fall, and the death jingle is pleasant, which is a must for difficult games. Much like the graphics, the music is different in each world. My personal favorite is the funky Marshmallow Hot Chocolate Theme.
Do Not Fall sports six different multiplayer modes, playable online or off by four people. Soccer pits all players against each other on a green field, scrambling to grab a ball and shoot it into the goal at the top of the screen. In Crown Grabber, you accrue points as long as you hold the crown. A Cold Wind Blows is pretty neat, tasking you to collect gems while the game occasionally drops all but a few floor tiles. The other three modes – Step on the Floor, Occupy the Base, and Mark the Territory – are a bit more complex but still fun. What makes multiplayer a great time is that everyone can dash attack each other off of the levels. I wish there were more maps; as it stands each mode has a static map you play on. Also, online play is sterilized by the fact that it doesn’t support microphone chat. Staying in the same game as someone is a bit wonky, too. If you’ve got people around you to play it in real life, I’d say stick to that option.
If you’re looking for a whimsical game that’s tougher than it leads on to be, Do Not Fall will satisfy your search. The controls are surprisingly tight, something I was worried about when first playing. The special stages (unlocked by completing normal stage challenges) start out frantic and end up nightmarish, providing a legitimate challenge to even the hardest of hardcore. The game has a enough replayability to last, even offering a hard mode, which gets rid of mid-stage checkpoints and some platforms. Don’t fret, though! If the game gets too difficult, you can skip levels by paying a small number of screws. Good luck out there, I’ll see you on the leaderboards.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation 3 version of the game.
What I Like:
- Difficulty level
- Lighthearted package
What I Dislike:
- No mic chat
- Fish enemies