Who here is old enough to remember the 80s TV show "The Fall Guy"?
Well, not me, strangely enough. Anyway, it was some kind of drama comedy show about a stuntman apparently. You'd think being a stuntman would make good game fodder, but .... er.... *ahem*
In "The Fall Guy" you are the aforementioned stuntman, and it is your job to perform stunts in five scenes until they get enough footage. You start from a safe platform and then have to jump into the scene and stay there while the timer ticks down. In all these scenes there is a scrolling background on which you have to stay on without falling off. In the first scene, this resembles a train. In later scenes we have coal carts, boats, tanks, and a warehouse box conveyor belt.
Additionally there are gaps and obstacles to avoid. In the first scene a bird drops rocks on you, and you also have to dodge the vents on top of the train by jumping over them. All the while, your capital (your score) ticks down. While you stay on the scene, the scene's remaining timer ticks down. However, if the pressure gets too much for you, you can always return to your safe platform (where you can avoid obstacles), while the scene timer pauses. Should you be brave enough to stay on the scene, jumping the obstacles will get you bonus money and keep the remainder timer going.
The idea behind the gameplay is ultimately too simplistic. Waiting for the timer to go down is about as fun as watching grass grow and paint dry. Compared to more involved platform games, there's a distinct lack of things to do here. Your stuntman is immediately uncontrollable, and moves as if he is slipping on ice. Pushing too long in one direction makes his momentum too fast to correct leading to a lot of deaths. Additionally, obstacles often appear unfairly in places which are nigh impossible to actually navigate, so you are often forced back to the safe platform. The other obstacles such as the rock dropping bird and a man who throws rocks at you are persistent nuisances which don't challenge you as much as they entirely frustrate you to the point of tears. You will get used to dying over and over and over again. Overall, the game feels as if it is out to sap any fun you might be trying to have and spite you completely.
The different scenes don't provide much gameplay variety (other than different graphics), and then there's only five scenes which start off hard and get progressively worse every cycle you complete (if you're lucky enough to see all five scenes). Your player sprite looks obese and undetailed. The backdrops look like they were borrowed off the Spectrum.
The title theme music sounds atrocious and is barely recognisable as the theme for any TV show let alone the one this is supposedly based on. The in game death tune will repeat itself over and over until you have snapped your joystick, cut off your right ear, headbutted your monitor, and been taken off to the mental asylum.
In short, I would have felt ripped off if I actually bought this game at the time it came out. This was a complete waste of a TV show license, and something that Neil A Bate, the programmer, would abuse again later with "Airwolf".
|GRAPHICS - 4/10|
|Fat looking undetailed sprites and bland spectrum-like backgrounds.|
|SOUND - 2/10|
|Dire title tune and annoying death ditty which you will get to hear a lot if you are silly enough to persist at this game.|
|PLAYABILITY - 2/10|
|Poor controls. Weak and uninteresting gameplay. Difficulty starts off hard, and subsequent levels become stupid and impossible in that order.|
|OVERALL - 3/10|
|An exercise in masochism and frustration, lacking any fun. There's not much to see or do, or even recommend. In short, the game is a complete waste of time.|