Friday, November 18, 2011

Fall Damage

I have a fondness for falling games. It's probably their simplicity that draws me in: all you have to do is run back and forth and, in the process, survive. Nothing fancy, just avoid the top of the screen. The bottom is your friend.

Consequently, I liked Fall Damage. It wasn't revolutionary, it won't change the orbit of the Earth, but it was good, clean fun - and fairly cute, to boot.


You are an egg.

You probably don't LIKE being an egg.

Time to leave the nest!

Egg of what, though? That's what you're trying to find out in Fall Damage. You're just about to be born, you're confused, you need to wander off and look for your parents. Understandable. For some reason, however, you've been laid at the top of a rather massive, intricate set of cliffs, platforms and, er, spikes, and you need to wander your way down to the bottom. (Not that there seems to BE a bottom, but still.)

All that said, there's one thing that sets Fall Damage apart from other, similar games: you take FALL DAMAGE! Surprise surprise. If your egg plummets too far you'll take a knock to your hit points, the amount based on how far you fell. Do this too often and you'll smash, and the game will end. This is inevitable - to see the ending you HAVE to smash the egg - but the point is to last as long as possible, made more difficult because the scrolling gets faster and the area more varied and tricky.


Another simple game, here, which is ideal when you need to think quick. Run left and right with the arrow keys, push up against walls to skid as you're falling to prevent falling too fast. hit space to activate parachutes you'll occasionally find to negate any fall damage. Very easy to learn - though you'll quickly discover that you have to think about where you're falling, as there are things both good and bad along the way that you'll want to reach and, er, not reach.

And in case you were wondering? No jumping. This one little fact radically changes Fall Damage, and I think it's a change for the better, as Fall Damage is less instinctual than other falling games.


Fall Damage is a pretty little game. Nice backdrop, cartoony platforms, cute graphics overall. Nothing to fawn over, but perfect for a game of this type. The egg is especially expressive as you're running around, which is appreciable for wanting to see it survive.


The music on Fall Damage is whimsical and kinda cheerful. Not bad - I like the harps - and pretty much what you'd expect. What I REALLY liked in this game was the sound effects: every time you fall just a bit too far, your egg lets out a tiny peep. It's a painful sound, one you don't wanna hear, and it raises the tension on an otherwise cutesy title.

Challenge Rating

You don't really 'win' Fall Damage, like other falling games - you just go until you can't go no more. Despite that fact, however, it's pretty easy compared to other falling games, perhaps because the screen never reaches the same high velocity. This makes Fall Damage a good title for cutting your teeth on the genre in preparation for other, more difficult vertical forays.

And while you can't WIN, per se, there is an ending...

... but you'll have to figure out what's inside the egg for yourself.


Fun! Fall Damage is fun. It's got a neat little story... very little, but still... and the game play is innovative enough compared to other falling games that you won't get bored. And, true, it's not hard, but it's worth playing to see what's inside the egg anyway. (Don't be heartless, you know you wanna help the poor egg.)


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