“Fall Guys” twists the “battle royale” concept by having players navigate bean-shaped folks across minigames and obstacle courses. The small team who developed it said the game was inspired by old game show’s like “Takeshi’s Castle” and “Total Wipeout.” As Launcher reporter Elise Favis wrote, it’s a game that will make you laugh, especially when you lose.
But being developed by a small team, it’s grown bigger than anyone expected. Spotty service and maintenance issues abound, keeping the game offline for hours at a time as Mediatonic deals with the deluge of bonking beans hoping to get a crown (the ultimate prize at the end of each “episode”).
But even beyond patching up some of the technical glitches, there’s room for an already enjoyable game to improve. To that end, Elise Favis and Gene Park put together a list of suggestions or ideas to consider as Mediatonic moves forward with evolving the game.
Toggle grabbing on and off
Grabbing, which lets you pull others toward you or be caught in someone else’s grasp, is one of the most controversial elements of “Fall Guys.” Though some minigames like Tail Tag and Egg Scramble require it as a core mechanic, other minigames do not. A well-timed grab can launch a jellybean neighbor off a seesaw to their death or, if you’re not careful, result in your own demise.
Grabbing brings a sense of unpredictability, but for many, it’s not welcome and makes the game unfair. In the most extreme cases, you can be prevented from racing through a finish line if you’re swarmed by griefers like this streamer experienced.
Rather than removing grabbing entirely – because some enjoy goofing around by using it with friends – it could be reimagined as an optional feature, where every player can toggle grabbing on and off in the settings menu.
New mini-games in later seasons
Developer Mediatonic is promising a consistent refresh with every new season of “Fall Guys,” and the team vows to expand on the current 25 minigames. In fact, that’s already happening: Mediatonic announced that a new variation to the level Jump Club, called Jump Showdown, is arriving Wednesday via a patch after its popularity within the closed beta that occurred before launch. This is great news, considering the limited variety can grow stale after several hours of play. Hopefully we see completely new additions soon, rather than just spins on levels we’re already familiar with.
Exit a match whenever you like
One of the best things about “Fall Guys” is being able to hop in and out of matches easily, but this process can be slowed down if you don’t leave a match as soon as it concludes. With only a small window of time to exit, you’re otherwise locked into spectating or playing until the round begins, which usually means a minute or two of wait time. It’s a small gripe, but the ability to leave whenever you like would be a welcome change.
Change up starting positions
At the start of a round, all jellybeans are randomly positioned in rows at the starting point. Being in a back row, however, can leave you at a disadvantage in some minigames (particularly Fall Mountain, a race through an obstacle course that appears as one of the game’s final rounds). Sure, you can still win, but it requires more effort, strategy, and luck (i.e. if someone ahead of you messes up). “Fall Guys” would benefit if this system was adapted somewhat, so that everyone is left with a fair chance.
I love Hex-A-Gone — a platforming minigame — but I rarely get to play it. Minigames are randomly queued in “Fall Guys,” and Hex-A-Gone is especially uncommon because you need to survive until the finals to experience it. A practice mode could remedy this issue, as well as give players a chance to hone their skills more regularly.
Private rooms with friends
Playing with up to 59 other random beans can be hectic and fun, but it can be easy to lose track of your friends in the dense crowds. Private rooms would be an excellent alternative for players who want to waddle across obstacle courses together or go head-to-head against a friend in a game like Fall Ball, a minigame similar to the premise of “Rocket League.”
In-game reporting system
“Fall Guys” has seen its share of cheaters and hackers. Some have used exploits to fly over obstacles straight to a finish line, others use speed hacks to run quicker than opponents. It’s something Mediatonic is closely monitoring, and the team says they’ve cracked down on a number of cheaters, but the issue isn’t completely eradicated. An in-game reporting system for both console and PC would streamline a player’s ability to report wrongdoing (right now, the most effective way is hopping onto the game’s official Discord).
Match history and metrics
Currently, the only metrics for tracking progress in “Fall Guys” are how much you’ve leveled up through the battle pass and what rewards you’ve subsequently unlocked. As someone who has poured 20-plus hours into this wacky game, I’d love for more insight on my win/loss ratio for each minigame so I know where I need improvement. Even some goofy metrics would work well here, recording how often you’ve been bonked on the head by a spinning propeller or how many tails you’ve grabbed.
Singles and partners only modes
The game has only one mode, which consists of mixing up free-for-all matches and games that divide the player base into teams. This is fun and all part of the chaos that makes this game fun for most. But it’d be nice to be able to funnel players down episodes that feature only free-for-all solo play or only team-based games. This is great for folks who feel weighed down by bad random teammates, or who have a bunch of friends who just want to keep coordinating through the episodes.
Having no team-only modes means you’re stuck watching the rest of the players and your surviving teammates play while you linger as a spectator. At the very least, the game should default this view to a friend of yours, rather than having the player flick through dozens of beans just to find your friend. This would be a salve on any frustrating loss.
With the success of “Fall Guys,” Mediatonic said it would love to consider the game for other platforms, like mobile phones, Xbox and the Nintendo Switch. Once it makes the jump to more consoles, we hope they consider implementing split-screen couch cooperative play. It’s a perfect party game. While splitscreen probably wasn’t a priority considering its popularity on PC, console gamers would cheer the option.
Vault or rethink Perfect Match and other time wasters
People are already ranking their favorite and worst “Fall Guys” minigames. My least favorite is Perfect Match. It’s a slow game of “Go Fish” that’s predictable. It usually eliminates at most three fall guys, and matches run on for minutes, which is an eternity in “Fall Guys” time. There are a few other games that also run the clock and patience, but in my opinion, Perfect Match is the only one that’s not constantly engaging.
Look, I actually love the main theme to “Fall Guys.” It’s all but replaced “It’s Bugsnax” as my jam of the summer. But after hearing it hundreds of times, it’d be nice to be able to rotate out the lobby music. The game has a ton of head-bopping tunes to filter out, like “Final Fall,” the track that plays on the final round of episodes.
Beta test mode
The developers are already introducing a new game that was a “fan favorite” from the beta. It’d be lovely to have a “tester mode” of sorts for players to dive in and test new game ideas and provide feedback. It would keep experienced players busy and give the community a sense of ownership over the ideas. And speaking of ownership …
Pie in the sky: Map creation
Mediatonic has already mentioned how difficult this would be implement. In a Reddit post last week, lead game designer Joe Walsh said the developers used the Unity engine to create the game, so there isn’t an available tool to send to players.
“There are also lots of complexities around things like curating that content, figuring out how to surface the best stuff, etc. so we’ll likely be working on it for a while (if we choose to start),” Walsh wrote.
It isn’t going to be an easy undertaking. Infrastructure for the features he described above requires a lot more people than their small staff could allow, and large studios struggle to keep up. It’s going to be a while before “Fall Guys” rises up, but we’re cheering for an underdog character arc in Mediatonic.