Developer: Dedalord S.R.L.
Price: free Download on the App Store
While on its surface Falling Fred might seem like another sadistic gore-fest, along the lines of DoodleBoy, it’s actually a nice little action title with a good sense of humor. It can still get pretty bloody, though. You might not want to let young kids play this game. And you might not want to get too attached to poor Fred.
When the game begins, Fred is already plummeting down what seems like an endless elevator shaft. Except it is definitely not an elevator shaft, as those typically don’t have giant buzzsaws and flamethrowers coming out of the walls. And it is most certainly not endless; from the get go, it is very clear that every time Fred successfully dodges an obstacle, he is merely postponing the inevitable. There’s only one way this game can end, and it isn’t pretty.
So, why play Falling Fred? The answer is simple: the game is fun. Much like the beloved Doodle Jump, the object of the game is to see how long you can last, and your level of success is measured purely in distance. In Doodle Jump, it’s the altitude reached. In Falling Fred, it’s how many meters plummeted.
Falling Fred can accurately be described as a “ragdoll physics” game, as Fred is 3D rendered, and half the fun is watching his flailing limbs bounce off the walls as he tumbles through space. The direction of Fred’s descent is controlled by tilting the iPhone, and the game will continue as long as Fred isn’t too badly hurt. The level of Fred’s injury is displayed as a screaming face in the upper left corner of the screen. As Fred becomes more injured, that little face will lose some teeth and gain some bruises.
There isn’t much else to it. There are a few powerups for temporarily restoring Fred’s health, but beyond that all you need to do is maneuver around the deadly stuff. This simplicity definitely makes Falling Fred easy to pick up and play, but it might hurt the replay value in the long term. That replay value might also suffer from the monotony of look of the game. Hopefully future versions of Falling Fred will feature worm holes, hell mouths, anything but that same expanse of concrete tunnel.
In the end, Falling Fred will cease to fall, and will eventually slam into something, be it a whirring blade, a spinning propeller, or just a platform made of brick. When this happens, he’ll spray blood all over the place and cartoon stars will encircle his cartoonishly large head. The game wisely avoids a sour ending by then cutting to a news paper headline-- Fred has miraculously survived his fall! Better still, you get to watch the instant replay and share it with your friends! All’s well that ends well.
Falling Fred is small and inexpensive, and will appeal to teenage boys of all ages. It’s recommended for casual gamers with a dark sense of humor and a taste for cartoon violence.