The next time I get a drink out of a vending machine, I am going to imagine that there are cute creatures inside, risking life and limb, hopping through an obstacle course of falling blocks and death traps to get me my delicious drink. That is the premise of Do Not Fall, or at least that’s what I have been able to gather from my time with the game.
The premise is simple enough. You have to traverse the levels, finding keys, nuts and screws, all while avoiding deathtraps to get to the exit. The catch is that almost all the blocks in the level will disintegrate after you step on them meaning you will always be kept on your toes while playing. The blocks will regenerate after time but you will be running for your life while avoiding all the other traps as you grab all the keys for the exit. It’s a pretty intense game as there is very little room for error. Most of the time I found myself running for dear life, hoping on the one block that was left behind, praying that another block regenerates in the very last second so I don’t fall to me death. The game will require some trial, error and patience. A game like this may be off putting to some because of the frustration that comes with it, but for others who love a challenge, this will be right up their alley. The game also throws hazards at you as well such as spiked balls that will knock you back, possibly off the level, animals hopping from block to block, blocks that won't regenerate, and more. The game will keep throwing more and more hazard at you as you progress so expect the challenge to spike to insane levels. The beginner levels are pretty straight forward but the levels will grow to massive a massive multi-level scale.
Throughout the level there will be three items you can pick up. Keys which will unlock doors in the level, screw nuts which are used as currency in the game to buy helpful items, and screws which are needed to open up later levels. This adds an extra layer of challenge and strategy into the game as you will need to decide what is important to you. Do you just want to blaze through the level as fast as you can, or do you want to pick up the other items along the way? The way you advance through the game is pretty much the same mobile games like Angry Birds where you need a certain number of stars to unlock new levels. There are three screws you can pick up in each level which can be a challenge in itself. Sure you can easily grab all the keys and exit the level but you won’t be able to advance stages unless you collect the screws.
The stages are all different kinds of delicious drinks that thirsty people will be craving such as water, milk, green tea, pineapple juice and more. Each drink has its own theme which fits in nicely with the game. The milk levels are all on farms, green tea has a Chinese theme and they all have great music that accompany each set of levels as well. Unlocking new drinks is incredibly easy at first due to the low number of screws you need to collect. You can easy grab all three of the screws in the water and the milk stages which will unlock pretty much half of the available drinks.
Even though levels get harder as you advance, you will have a pretty healthy set of screws on hand so even if you only pick up a couple of screws in the later stages it will unlock the rest of the levels. Depending on how good you are at the game you may be able to unlock all the stages rather quickly. The number of screws you need to collect to unlock the later stages does have a sharp increase so you can expect a big challenge when you are about half way through the game. It’s not really a complaint because this game is supposed to be challenging, but the difficulty of the levels spikes to an incredibly high difficulty once you get to the later stages. Levels become huge obstacle courses and you will be incredibly luck to beat them on your first try. I would pretty much just run frantically around the level, surveying where everything was so on my next try I would have somewhat of an idea of where everything is. To add more challenge to the game, you are being timed as well so you can't just hang out on a neutral block figuring out where everything is. Run out of time and you have to replay the level all over again
You can easily unlock all the drinks in about three to four hours but that doesn’t mean the game is over there. With games like these you could play the game for many more hours trying to gather every nut and screw. There are also a plethora of unlockables in the game as well including new characters to play as, power ups, concept art and more. I probably wouldn’t want to unlock any new characters because the main character Pipi is extremely obnoxious to the point where I had to mute the game. Restarting multiple times to hear READY… GO over and over and over again was like nails on a chalkboard. Speaking of upgrades, most of them will help you out playing the levels such as giving you extra lives or faster jumps. I recommend buying the extra lives immediately. There are checkpoints in each stage where you will restart if you fall off the level. However if you lose all your lives, you have to start the entire level all over again so this is why the extra lives come in handy.
The levels do get larger as you progress but no so much that they are impossible to finish. The number of screws you need to unlock new drinks isnt that high either. I had the first 4-5 drinks unlocked within the first hour our two of playing as you can easily get all three screws for each level of the first two drink sets. If you are a perfectionist, you can always go back for all the collectibles and unlocks and there is multiplayer in the game as well. Unfortunately I never got to try it out because online seems to be a ghost town. I tried several times to play an online game and was always told that there were no games available.
The game is meant to be frustrating so I can’t fault it too much for that since the game was designed to be challenging. The frustration with this game comes from the little issues that keep it from being truly great. For starters, the game plays with somewhat of a top down view. This wouldn’t be a problem but aside from moving the camera left right up or down, you cannot rotate the camera. At the beginning levels, this isn’t so much of a problem. It starts to become a problem however when the game starts throwing new challenges at you such as having to jump up or down from platform to platform. It becomes hard to tell where exactly you are supposed to be jumping. Numerous times I would fall to my death because either I jumped not realizing the platform was a few feet above me, or I would be running for my life and come to a complete stop because the next block is above me but from where the camera is position, it looks like it’s on the ground level. It was very rare but I also encountered a problem where, for whatever reason, It wouldn't let me jump on a block. I would jump towards a block and it was like I hit an invisible wall because I would just stop dead in mid jump and fall to my death.
All in all, Do Not Fall is a decent platformer that anyone, especially those looking for more challenging games can enjoy. Aside from some minor annoyances, there isn't really anything bad with the game. The value you get out of Do Not Fall will pretty much depend on how much time you want spend with it. If you just want to complete all the levels, it won't take you that long but there is more to do to keep you busy after that.
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