I have played my fair share of titles aimed at a younger demographic; or those with enough aspects to challenge and entertain adults as well. Certain games can pull off the latter fairly well, and the new puzzle platform game, Do Not Fall I believe is trying to hit that mark. For the most part, it succeeds, but not without some annoyances involved.
Do Not Fall is an isometric-view platformer that has players taking control of PiPi and other creatures that live in a vending machine. They are tasked with obtaining ingredients at the end of each level so that the drink that was chosen can be made and delivered. Sure it’s a strange premise, but it works.
While traversing the level, stepping on a block platform, causes it to crumble and fall. I had to keep moving otherwise they will fall and ruin the title of the game completely. I could also jump and use a special dash to close gaps and land on other platforms. The object of each level is to unlock doors that lead to the ingredient. Players must navigate the maze-like area, locate keys, run back to the locked doors and move on all the while avoiding the crumbling floor and other hazards. Players begin with two lives and can obtain extra ones by reaching a checkpoint block. After falling to their doom, they will begin at the checkpoint block rather than the beginning of the level. Luckily, some platforms will re-spawn after they have crumbled, but it does take a few precious seconds. It is a simple concept, but can offer up a rather massive challenge.
Each level has a special objective that can be completed for an even higher score which may unlock new things. There are also collectibles that can be gathered. These are used as a sort of currency to buy/unlock new characters and art.
The game offers up numerous multiplayer games, unfortunately, during my time with the review, I never once found anyone playing it online. It’s kind of a shame because some of them, like soccer and a pseudo king of the hill mode, would be rather fun with three other players. Luckily, it’s not left completely out. Players wanting to play these modes can do so with bots.
The art style of the overall presentation is a very cutesy, colorful world. I understand it would appeal to younger players, but adults will find some of it annoying. Every time the characters are about to fall (which is every couple of seconds) they begin making this really annoying crying/scared sound that began to grind at my nerves after about two hours.
Now, I do have a few gripes with the game play and some of the other aspects. First of all, players can’t control the camera. Excuse me, let me rephrase that. Players can’t rotate the camera. Sure, I could zoom in and out or move the camera to the left or right slightly, but that wasn’t helping. This is a big deal for me especially when I’m trying my best to do what the title of the game suggests. In the later levels, the game begins to throw multiple leveled platforms into the mix and since I can’t rotate the camera at all, I thought I was jumping onto a level platform when it was actually a higher one. Even simple jumps could be missed due to the perspective problems I had with the game.
The final problem was the overall difficulty. The first few levels were a breeze to play with a few challenging levels thrown in, but once I got a little more than halfway through, it became an endurance run. There’s no way I could see younger players making it this far and being able to complete some of the later levels. It became that ridiculous.
For what the game does and is trying to do, Do Not Fall accomplishes a good amount. The difficulty is brutal in the later levels, but players can’t say it doesn’t offer up a challenge. The cutesy art style and characters can get on player’s nerves after a while, and the camera will fight you to the death at times, but still for ten bucks it’s not the worst puzzle platformer out there, and if there were some people actually playing it online, the multiplayer modes would be rather fun. Unfortunately, I highly doubt anyone will ever find a game online. Do Not Fall may have its frustrations, but the overall game play is sound. If you really enjoy puzzle platforming games, it’s not a bad choice.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.