Fall Guys – Comprehensive Review

Transfiguring Adoption’s Overview:

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout is a colorful, zany, obstacle course race where up to 60 people compete to get to the end of the course and to the next round.  Dress up your character and then head out to the obstacle course where you will try to overcome challenges and various obstacles all while trying to circumvent other players trying to make it to the end and become champion.  Some courses are races where you have to get past all the obstacles and make it to the end.  Other courses give you challenges like having to steal another player’s tail and have it once the timer runs out.  Finally the last course is a race up the mountain to become the winner.

The target age range for this game per the ESRB rating is E for Everyone. The target audience appears to be ages 7 and up depending on your child’s gaming abilities.  Younger children may be attracted to the game due to the fun characters, costumes, and art style, but the game does contain mild cartoon violence, obstacles that may be hard for them to pass, some reading skills, and some game elements children may not understand.  Players can grab other players or try to intentionally sabotage them causing someone to lose the round.  Caregivers may need to pay special attention as children who have experienced traumas like bullying or abuse as it may be triggering to some.

Reviewer’s Note:

This review is based on intense research of the game. I have read summaries of gameplay, articles with details of the game, and critics, parents and children’s reviews of the games. The reviewer has not personally played this game. 

** Spoilers Could Be Ahead **

How Is This Relevant To Adoption & Foster Care?

While the game is not directly related to foster care or adoption, caregivers can give attention to themes like adapting to challenges and changes, feelings of anxiety, and connecting feelings to behavior.  This game is popular among children and adults due to it’s relatively easy game play, short rounds, and colorful art style. There can also be many benefits to playing the game like challenging reflexes and hand eye coordination, reading/comprehension skills, and strategy.

Discussion Points:

  • Adapting to Challenges
    Players can jump, climb, grab, or dive during gameplay.  The game rounds are pretty short and can feel like a mad dash as all the other players are trying to do the same thing — make it to the end.  Each course offers different ways you need to adapt, sometimes climbing up, sometimes having to time a jump just right to get over a hole or obstacle, and sometimes you have to dive out of the way.  For children with trauma, it can sometimes be hard to keep going when they make a mistake or can’t seem to get it right the first time.  Caregivers can work with children to help them understand game mechanics, show them gameplay videos, and talk through tactics of how they might tackle an obstacle.  Helping them think through and solving the problems could help the child gain a confidence boost to keep trying and help them get enjoyment out of the game.
  • Connecting Feelings to Behavior
    Sometimes children who have endured trauma may not understand or be able to connect feelings to behavior.  You are playing with dozens of others in the game. 

Cautionary Points:

  • Cartoon Violence
    The game does have mild cartoon violence.  You can be knocked around by other players, fall or be impeded by obstacles.
  • Feelings of Anxiety Due To Difficulty/ Adrenaline Rush
    Some children may struggle with getting to the end of the round as a lot of children and adults with varying experience are trying to make it to the end as well.  Certain obstacles may be harder for some people to get past and then throw in up to 60 others trying to do the same thing at the same time.  The game is fast paced and may trigger anxiety or frustration trying to get past an obstacle or person in their way in order to qualify for the next round.  Due to the short amount of time within levels children may get an adrenaline rush and may start to feel their fight or flight instincts kick in.  If the child becomes over-stimulated or frustrated, perhaps having them take a break before continuing the game will help them have a fresh perspective and view to get through the obstacles.
  • Cyber Bullying
    The game is a battle royale.  This means you are trying to be the last person standing while surviving and avoiding elimination to be the ultimate winner.  While there is no chat within the game, players can intimidate by intentionally blocking you or trying to push you into an obstacle so that you fall and can not continue. Some younger children may not understand there are real people controlling the other characters they are playing with who may intentionally try to impede a player from getting to the end of the round.
  • Game Addiction
    Like many games and other things, Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout can become addictive. Children often will play for hours or look up videos when not playing.  Children who have endured trauma may use the game as a means of escape or to make them feel safe or happy.  Oftentimes children don’t understand limitations because why wouldn’t someone want to feel happy or safe all the time?  They may start to crave the familiarity of the game and the way it makes them feel.  You may need to monitor and limit the amount of time your child plays.  Having a discussion with them on why the game makes them happy or what from the game makes them feel safe may help the caregiver understand what they can do in real life to help the child.
  • Online Connectivity
    The game does require online connectivity through Nintendo Online, PlayStation Plus, Xbox Live Gold, or through your PC.  While there is no voice or text chat within the game, other messaging apps like Discord can be used where players can go to share information and speak.  You may need to monitor your child especially if they are using other applications and platforms to communicate with others to ensure they are not interacting with people who can try to cause them harm by messaging inappropriate dialogue.  Caregivers should speak to their children about cyberbullying and to tell you if they are receiving messages that make them uncomfortable.
  • In-App Purchases/Microtransactions
    There is a shop within the game where you can buy costumes or emotes for your character.  These points can be earned by playing the game or bought using real world currency.  While they are not needed to play the game, a lot of people like to buy their favorite costume to wear and show off in the game.  

    About the Author: Keri Barone

    Keri lives in Orlando, FL with her husband. She is passionate about children and has been helping/taking care of them since she was a little girl. Keri comes from a family of 5 brothers and sisters including an adopted brother. Her mother has a passion for Genealogy and has done adoptee research helping people find loved ones. Having 10 nieces and nephews, Keri often researches information on TV shows, movies, and games to see if appropriate for their ages. Keri then became interested in writing reviews to help other adults find suitable content for their children, especially those who may have triggers due to trauma they have experienced. When Keri isn’t working, you can find her playing video games, reading, watching movies, and looking for pieces to grow her Harry Potter collection.

    **Transfiguring Adoption is a nonprofit organization seeking to nurture growth in foster and adoptive families by giving a HOOT about their families. Transfiguring Adoption does not intend for its reviewers nor its review to be professional, medical or legal advice. These reviews and discussion guides are intended to help parents to better be able to connect and understand their children who come from traumatic backgrounds.

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