If you’ve never heard of this game before, Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout is a whacky mishmash of Battle Royale games, Mario Party, and Takeshi’s Castle. You play a little pickle-shaped mascot (appearance customised to taste, of course) amongst 59 other similar mascots, racing through a series of four or five obstacle courses while avoiding death traps.
Each round, a large portion of players are eliminated, and the winner is the player who grabs the crown in the final course. Team games are sometimes thrown into the mix to change things up, forcing you to work together with a random assortment of players without any means of communication. It’s chaotic, frustrating, and incredibly addictive. It also has the greatest menu music of all time.
The greatest testament to how fun this game is, would be the number of big-name video game streamers having a ton of fun with it and saying it’s the best game ever (or something to that effect). Markiplier, Northernlion, Alpharad are just some of the many streamers loving this game. Pretty impressive for a relatively casual, and might I even say niche game that didn’t have great ambitions.
Devolver Digital pretty much failed to realise how big their game was going to turn out to be.
The Greatest Hit of 2020…?
Fall Guys turned out to be one of the greatest gaming hits to ever come out in 2020. It even surpassed GTAV in terms of player count on Steam!
Its popularity was so unexpected that even its own developers did not prepare enough servers to accommodate the sheer number of players. They had to put the game on maintenance mode (meaning no one could actually play) on its launch day. Check out the tweet by the devs themselves:
I was one of the victims of this. I watched Youtubers play this game, heard my friends gush about it, and instantly bought it, eager to jump into the fray. Only for me to be greeted by “Matchmaking down for maintenance” for an entire day.
When I finally did get to play the following, I was stuck with a generic “Fall Guy 1754” username, because apparently they had to temporarily disable custom names due to people abusing the system and having vulgar usernames. In a game where customisation is half the fun, this was a disaster.
Tomorrow’s a Better Day
At the time of writing this article, I am still unable to change my username from “Fall Guy 1754”. However, the game is so insanely fun that this has stopped being an issue altogether.
There’s a reason why the Fall Guys devs had to upgrade their servers to accommodate its popularity in the first place – It’s such an addictive game and easy to recommend. Gamers of all stripes – Casual, hardcore, kids, “gaming-is-for-nerds” non-gamers can and will enjoy this game. It’s easy to pick up and yet contains a ton of depth. Fall Guys requires a lot of skill if you want to win, but it’s basic motor skills and not some deep library of competitive meta game knowledge. Therefore, anyone can pick up Fall Guys and enjoy it.
Games are incredibly short, so it’s fine for short gaming sessions if you have the discipline and willpower to resist playing “just one more round”. Due to the battle royale elimination system, you never have to be really good, just good enough to make it to the next round, and you’re constantly reminded of how there is always someone out there who is worse at this game than you. It’s a rewarding experience that doesn’t ask a lot from you.
Fall Guys looks to be the completely unexpected smash gaming hit of 2020. Accessible, fun, and with tons of customisation in a battle pass style, it’ll be here to stay for a while.