There is a long list of games that I’ve been meaning to play and write about, and I will get to those at some point. However, there is one game that has been taking up a great deal of our time. Yes, it is another couch co-op game, and it’s called FALLING OUT. My girlfriend and I have been playing FALLING OUT most nights, and getting nowhere.
*Special Update: After weeks and weeks of failing, we have finally defeated the Mayan boss and moved onto the next world, Antarctica. We are now 50% done with the worlds of FALLING OUT.
FALLING OUT is a light-hearted 2D roguelite adventure that allows two players to take control of a “bored” couple, Giorgio and Felicie. During a vacation, these two accidental adventurers are forced to explore ancient kingdoms, discover treasures, battle strange creatures and end up bumping into Azar — the equally lost shopkeeper. Will this new “forced” hobby reignite the spark of love back into their relationship?
While FALLING OUT can be played as a single-player game, it’s best enjoyed as a couch co-op. In many ways FALLING OUT reminds me of the Spelunky games, except I played those mostly on my own, while I’ve been enjoying this game with my girlfriend.
When comparing FALLING OUT and Spelunky, both games feature multiple worlds made up of procedurally-generated levels full of strange creatures who mostly want to kill you. The main goal in both games is to make it through the exit intact before time runs out and something terrible happens — in Spelunky the ghost slowly comes for you, and in FALLING OUT the deadly flood begins.
Both games give players that “One More Try” feeling, where after every death you feel like you’re going to make it on the next turn. That usually isn’t true, and this just leads to an endless loop of retrying and retrying, but not advancing.
What I’ve learned from playing many of these extremely tough games is that it’s best to take a break when you’re getting nowhere and feeling a bit frustrated. This was especially true during boss fights in Hollow Knight a few years ago.
While both games, FALLING OUT and Spelunky follow the same sort of gameplay loop, they are both different enough to make them both worth playing. There are also two Spelunky games out now (Part I and II), so that’s even more to play.
Even though the main gameplay loops are very similar, the gaming experiences are different. In Spelunky, players are given a single life and must restart from the very beginning each time (in level 1-1). In FALLING OUT players have a few extra lives, and once you beat the boss fight, you can choose to start from the next world. I haven’t made it too far in Spelunky, but I’m pretty sure I haven’t encountered any boss fights.
The final big differences would be in the back story of each game, which plays into the style of how players should play each game. Spelunky is about planned exploration. Players start off with some tools, weapons, equipment and items which are helpful for exploration. You have rope for long falls and reaching higher areas, bombs for building (or destroying) new paths, and a whip to help against creatures and enemies.
FALLING OUT is a game about two accidental explorers. Giorgio and Felicie walk into the first level with no items, but there are many items scattered around each level to help you defeat enemies, give you new abilities, and even get some money to buy health and other items in the shop.
Spelunky has been more of a slow exploration game, where I try to plan out my moves and look ahead as much as I can. FALLING OUT has been more of a frantic game, where we are running around, screaming and searching for an exit. I’m sure that Spelunky will become more of a frantic exploration game when I play with my girlfriend.
There is one more similarity between FALLING OUT and Spelunky and that is all of the accidental, stupid, and sometimes hilarious deaths. When playing these games with a teammate, the question that often arises after a failed run is, “Did you kill me or did the [insert enemy creature here] kill me?” Many times the answer was that you have in fact killed yourself by doing something stupid.
During my playthroughs of both games, Spelunky and FALLING OUT, I saved so many videos of dumb and stupid deaths. I was even able to make a short compilation video for each game.
Comment below with your thoughts on either game and if you’ve played them mostly in co-op or single player mode?
Spelunky, Spelunky 2 and FALLING OUT are all out now on consoles and PC.
*myVGBC.com was given a review code for FALLING OUT.