Graphics:
7.0
Gameplay:
7.2
Sound:
6.7
Control:
6.9
Replay Value:
7.4
Online Gameplay:
7.0
Overall Rating:
7.0
Publisher:
XPEC Entertainment
Developer:
XPEC Entertainment
Number Of Players:
1-4
Genre:
Action/Platformer
Release Date:
July 23, 2013


The title says it all. The entire purpose of the game is summed up nicely in those three little words: Do Not Fall . It has a cutesy, attractive charm but at the same time, it demands quick thinking, fast reflexes, and a calm, cool approach that has no trace of panic. A bunch of colorful, themed platforms are hanging in the sky, and you must carefully traverse them if you wish to obtain a variety of rare, tasty liquids. It’s a little bizarre but as you might expect, the focus of this PSN exclusive is squarely on the gameplay.

Graphically, it’s difficult not to smile when checking out Do Not Fall . There’s a certain whimsy; it projects a singular childlike exuberance, and that translates to enthusiasm on the part of the player. The main character is a pink rabbit of some kind, with long ears and – unsurprisingly – a penchant for jumping. The backdrops aren’t particularly detailed, but the amount of creativity that’s on display is appreciated. I loved the theme-based levels because it kept the admittedly repetitive gameplay fresh, and offered a bit more in the way of eye candy. It’s one of those visual presentations that works but doesn’t necessarily impress.

The sound design isn’t much different, in that it fits the style but doesn’t excel in any particular area. There isn’t much in the way of voice acting, as the performances are mostly limited to a few cutesy gasps and cries. The soundtrack matches the game’s obvious charm step for step, and you won’t be hearing the exact same pieces over and over. More could’ve been done with the soundtrack, though, and the effects leave a little something to be desired. It’s clear that the majority of development effort went toward the borderline ingenious level design, which makes sense, even if the technical elements are somewhat lacking.

A bunch of tiles that look suspiciously like Lego bricks, a character that looks like a slimmer version of the bunny dude in Jumpin’ Jack Flash , and a series of 80 stages that feature multiple themes and increasingly difficult challenges; this is Do Not Fall . The goal is to find the necessary keys, gather up money and collectibles, and reach the exit without falling to your imminent – though still oddly cute – demise. The levels in question must be traversed with a cool head and a steady hand, but you must also move quickly. There are only a few solid pieces that you can stand on forever; most crumble away quickly after stepping on them.

This results in a strategic form of fast-paced gameplay that constantly requires a roving eye. In other words, you always have to look ahead (and around) to see where you can go next. And as you must also collect what you need to complete the level, you’re basically looking for multiple things at once: You need to ascertain the nature of the level layout, you need to find necessary items, and you must do it all without backtracking too much. Backtracking means returning to tiles that are no longer there and yeah, that’s sort of an issue. Move fast, but move smartly.

You can jump and dash; the latter is used to smash through various obstacles and the occasional enemy, while the jump is obvious. However, while you can jump whenever you like, the dash uses up energy. This is denoted by a meter above the character’s head; if the bar is depleted you won’t be able to dash. I’m not entirely sure why this mechanic exists, though… Thing is, it would make sense if there was any benefit to dashing all over the place, but the dash is only beneficial at certain times. So what if I can use it whenever I want? I just think limiting that move is an odd and unnecessary design choice, that’s all.