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Review: Do Not Fall


Marcus Estrada

Developer: XPEC Entertainment

Publisher: XPEC Entertainment

Platform: PS3: PSN

Release Date: July 23, 2013

ESRB: E for Everyone

 

A download code was provided by the publisher for this review.

 

Did you ever play Q*Bert and think that it was far too easy? Unless you“re an arcade maestro the chances are that you instead found the game infuriatingly difficult. By the end, you might have even been swearing like Q*Bert himself. The reason this game is brought up is because Do Not Fall utilizes a similar gaming concept. As you explore environments, the floor disappears under you, leaving many frustrating moments in its wake.

 

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Let“s dive right into what makes Do Not Fall an unusual little game. You play the game as an anthropomorphic rabbit dressed up in some clothes who for some reason needs to make drinks. No, he“s not a bartender or an alcoholic, but just really likes sparkling water, milk, green tea, and the like. This oddball setup is basically all you get for a story. Of course, this is primarily a puzzle platformer so there“s no need for a long, drawn out narrative.

 

Gameplay takes place on a 3D plane although the world itself is in a fixed 2.5D perspective. The first thing one notices is that the ground is comprised of floating blocks. For the most part, these blocks will crumble under foot after you stand on them for a few seconds. A few blocks will never break and you can tell these apart by their distinctive designs (grating, stone blocks, etc).

 

Of course, the whole environment isn“t just one big batch of blocks. There are many segmented platforms, some of which are just one or two blocks floating out by themselves. Other times, there are objects and enemies blocking your path to blocks. On these occasions, you“ll need to carefully jump across chasms. With monsters, you have to time yourself to make sure you can weave between them without getting hit. If an enemy bumps into you then the poor bunny will get propelled in the opposite direction - often falling off a platform.

 

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These elements combined cause a great deal of strain on the player. Although beginning stages aren“t too tough, things completely change once you proceed to later areas. With blocks disappearing fairly quick, you don“t have time to think about where to go next. Then, with enemies making their rounds in quick, tight patterns you must also hurry along your path. There is also a timer on each stage which furthers this need for speed. Because of this, players are incredibly likely to make many errors while playing.

 

It would be tough enough to deal with the monsters and platform disintegration, but adding time into the equation just drives it over the edge. Another unfortunate aspect is that a player maxes out at two lives. Even if you find new lives during play they won“t get added on. With so much stress to perform perfectly it“s practically impossible to do so on the first few attempts of many stages.

 

That“s not to say the game offers nothing to aid players. It tries to some degree with the likes of checkpoints and the aforementioned extra lives. Checkpoints in particular can be helpful to get you back to a certain part of the stage instead of starting at the very beginning after death. Beyond that though there“s little the game can help with. You just have to be incredibly focused or have stages committed to memory.

 

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One reason that the difficulty of Do Not Fall is extra grating is simply because the rest of the game seems like it was designed for children. From the bunny who breakdances for an idle stance to cute ladybugs there is just nothing about this game that screams “frustrating”. It“s only when you sit down to play that it becomes apparent how insidious it is. Though, anyone who makes their way through can then play the game in hard mode.

 

There is nothing inherently wrong with a game being difficult, but there are other reasons that people may choose to ignore it. For one, the visuals don“t really stand up to other PS3 PSN releases. They would appear much more at home on the Vita and it“s a mystery to me why this isn“t a Vita game. Similarly, the writing in this game is fairly odd. This likely has to do with the fact that the developer hails from Taiwan. Although it is not completely broken English text, it is awkward at times.

 

Anyone with a strong desire to get consistently destroyed by a cutesy little game might want to pick up Do Not Fall. But if you“re someone who caught word of this title and though it looked like a nice diversion for a child should definitely think twice. It is not a cute little puzzle romp. It“s a puzzle game with real teeth and underwhelming production values.

 


Pros:

 

+ Responsive control

+ A large amount of stages

 

Cons:

 

- Few methods of help within a stage

- Awkward translation

 


Overall Score: 5.0 (out of 10)

Average

 

Do Not Fall may be worth it to the keenest puzzle platforming players but turns into an exercise in frustration for most anyone else.

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