Falling Fred Hands-On Preview

Dedalord Games debuted on the App Store with a stylish and eerily atmospheric sokoban puzzler that cast players as the deranged inmate of a dingy, blood-stained loony bin. And it doesn’t look this indie outfit is lightening up any for their imminent sophomore effort. Described as a “gory game sprinkled with black humor”, Falling Fred wastes no time in hurling the titular character down an elevator shaft and challenging you with dodging a variety of potentially deadly obstacles as he rapidly plummets through its bowels.

The aim of the game is straightforward: fall as far as you can without doing Fred a fatal injury. Intuitive tilt-based controls take care of maneuvering your ragdoll-esque protagonist about this outlandish obstacle course and trying to avoid making bone-crunching contact with walls, stray pipes, jutting platforms and the like.

An exhilarating of sensation of speed and vertigo accompanies the accelerometer powered action, while weaving around trying to grab collectables in order to replenish lost health during your descent adds an extra challenge. Not that you’ll have much of a chance to soak it in given the game’s frenetic pace, but Falling Fred is no slouch in the eye-candy department either.

Dedalord have again opted for stylized, cartoonish visuals, reminiscent of those in Psychoban, however, this follow-up’s physics system strives for gritty realism and no punches are pulled when it comes to gleefully portraying lashings of the ol’ ultra-violence. Resultantly, the game packs a stomach-churningly visceral wallop each and every time your character collides with a steel pipe or gets mangled by the razor sharp blades of a spinning fan. It’s little wonder then that Dedalord have been quick to warn YouTubers the teaser trailer is RATED “S” for SICK people ONLY!

The average play-through sees Fred fracturing his skull, losing limbs and, if you’re really (un)lucky, being beheaded, all whilst bucket after bucket of blood is artfully sprayed all over your iDevice’s screen. Oh, and the developers – sick puppies that they are – have confirmed that you’ll be able to share action replays of your favorite falls with your Facebook buddies. Frequent updates including new obstacles and characters are also promised.

Based on the time I’ve spent with it thus far, Falling Fred is shaping up to be a really nice little time waster/high-score-a-thon. Wait. On second thought, ‘nice’ probably isn’t the best word to describe it. Anyhoo, expect a more in-depth review from iFanzine once Dedalord drops Falling Fred onto the App Store next week.

ETA: 223-2011