Do Not Fall – PS3
Publisher: XPEC Entertainment Inc.
Developer: XPEC Entertainment Inc.
Release Date: Jul 23, 2013
Genre: Platformer
Reviewed by Mark Smith

Review Score: 3 of 5

Do Not Fall is a fiendishly wicked puzzle-platformer that tests your patience while possibly poking at your fear of heights…assuming you actually have a fear of heights. Don’t be fooled by the charming and colorful graphics or the cute characters that inhabit this treacherous world; Do Not Fall is one of the most challenging games I’ve played on the PS Store this year.

The premise is simple, far simpler than the execution. You play a rabbit (at least at first) that is breaking into a soda machine to get drinks; drinks like bottled water, green tea, pineapple juice and hot chocolate, and these form the basis for the art and level design for ten very distinct themes in which you’ll race around elevated platforms picking up keys and various other items including hundreds of nuts (metal not edible).

The platforms are constructed from a variety of blocks, ledges, and other obstacles, and since many of the blocks that make up these platforms crumble away after being stepped on you will need to plan very specific routes or master the fine art of jumping in order to leave some blocks behind in case you need to backtrack. In some cases the vanishing blocks will reappear after a short time, but it’s best to plan a one-way trip.

Controls are intuitive and responsive although the jumping can take some getting used to, especially trying to judge how long to hold the button for longer jumps. You also have a dash move that lets you smash through barriers, but this has a cool-down so you can simply dash your way through the entire level. That is the extent of your moves but mastering how to use them individual and together is much of the challenging in solving the levels in Do Not Fall.

As expected, you are scored on each level for your thoroughness and your completion time, but the game has other ways of keeping you motivated and on the move. Some levels have you getting attacked by birds if you stay in one place too long, while other levels will have traps that chase you or environment conditions like gusts of wind that you must fight to keep from falling off the edge. And just completing these 80 levels in the fastest time isn’t always enough. Some levels will present you with secondary objectives like NOT collecting the Pac-Man line of nuts or using your dash to smash anything and everything that can be smashed.

Between levels you can use your nut collection to purchase various upgrades that will speed you up or give you more chances to complete a level, or unlock content like new characters that not only offer a fresh look but also new gameplay mechanics. These perks should help in overcoming the increasing level of difficulty as you try to finish the single-player mode, but there are also other modes to entertain you if you find yourself stuck or just want to share the experience with up to three other friends; either locally or online.

Do Not Fall looks like a kid’s game but with a brutal difficulty level that only gets harder and some potentially frustrating trial-by-error repetitious gameplay, younger kids will likely give up and even older gamers might not suffer through till the end. I enjoyed the challenge and I loved the attention to detail in everything from the graphics to the sound and music, but I couldn’t help feel this would find a better home and more receptive audience on the iPad.