The beta for Mediatonic’s cute and colorful mini-games battle royale, Fall Guys, has taken Twitch by storm this weekend. At one point, it became the most-viewed game on the platform.
In Fall Guys, you and 59 other players compete with each other to win various mini-games. It’s like Mario Party, but in a thrilling battle royale against dozens of players rather than a small group of people. As you progress, the number of winners qualified to move on to the next round decreases until there is one champion who can claim ultimate victory. On release, it’s planned to have approximately 25 mini-games for each match; more will arrive after launch.
These mini-games are incredibly simple but fun to watch and play. There’s the “Race to the Finish” style of mini-games, which will make you race to the finish line on the other side of a map full of obstacles, falling fruit, or doors you have to dash through. There’s Team Tail Tag, in which you have to make sure your team has more tails than other teams when the timer runs out. There’s Roll Out, which requires you to move between rotating rings to avoid falling into a pit of slime. Be the last Fall Guy standing above the slime in Hex-A Gone; avoid fake tiles and find hidden paths in Tip Toe; play soccer and score goals in Fall Ball — and so much more.
“We knew [the market] would be absolutely saturated with battle royales, everyone would be pushing battle royales, so I told the team, ‘Whatever you throw at me, don’t make it Battle Royale,'” said creative director Jeff Tanton in a GamesIndustry.biz interview. “And then Joe [Walsh, senior game designer] came to me and said, ‘Look, it’s a battle royale, but…'”
As Walsh says in the interview, this is a battle royale that focuses on interactions between players that aren’t prone to toxicity or aggression. While you are trying to emerge as the final winner, Walsh describes it most aptly when he says that, “you’re always really against the course together, more than against each other.” Even though the game’s visually cute and vibrant aesthetic certainly helps it achieve this wholesome tone, many mini-games are split up between teams, establishing a sense of camaraderie, even if for a short while.
As someone who isn’t huge on battle royales, this is the kind of battle royale game I’ve wanted and needed. It’s whacky, chaotic, and amusing, but not stressful or aggravating. It’s accessible to any type of person, whether their job involves regularly playing games or they’ve barely ever touched a controller. If the mini-games were the most fun part of playing a Mario Party game with your friends, this feels like an ideal evolution.
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It’s evidently resonated with people during its 48-hour closed beta weekend (which ends at 9 a.m. PT tomorrow, July 26) — so much, in fact, that it was at one point the most-watched game on Twitch. Its number of concurrent viewers surpassed games like Fortnite, League of Legends, and Grand Theft Auto V. Mediatonic took to Twitter to celebrate when this happened.
For one GLORIOUS second we did it.
We were on top of the world.
We looked up and saw only people chatting. Just chatting, they were.
There was no other game above us.
Only games below.
It’s games… all the way down.
Games… all the way down. pic.twitter.com/1SUFgsWW7q
— Fall Guys (@FallGuysGame) July 24, 2020
Today, Fall Guys has consistently maintained a spot in the top 10 most-viewed games on Twitch, drawing in an average of more than 100,000 viewers.
It’s no easy feat for an unreleased game to achieve this, even if it has adopted the rising Twitch marketing meta. Similarly to Riot Games with Valorant, Mediatonic has focused on providing keys to notable streamers and content creators. Those content creators will regularly share out beta codes during their streams, requiring those not in the beta to watch them if they want to gain access. While a giant name like Riot was never going to have a difficult time getting eyes on Valorant, the viewership numbers for Mediatonic’s adorable party battle royale are worth noting. It speaks to how more publishers are realizing the significant potential behind marketing through Twitch communities.
It remains to be seen if Fall Guys will maintain this momentum upon launch, but it won’t take long to find out. Fall Guys will be out for PlayStation 4 and PC on Aug. 4.