To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

PlayStation 5 free game is the short burst of fun I needed

PlayStation 5 free game is the short burst of fun I needed

Got 10 mins to spare? Hop into Stumble Guys

I need you to know that when Fall Guys was first launched, I was quite literally obsessed. I’d be on that silly bean game every lunch break, after work … you couldn’t tear me away.

I wish I could tell you that this was a short-lived phase but it wasn’t. For the best part of two years, I avidly counted down to each new season, eager to see the latest rounds that’d be added into the game.

It was around the time of the game’s two-year anniversary that Fall Guys decided to go free-to-play - and that, for me, is where things took a downhill turn. Epic majorly monetised in-game purchases, ridding of the free crown currency you’d accrue from winning. Previously, you’d be able to purchase skins using these crowns. If you play the game now, the best you’ll be able to acquire without spending a dime is a new colour palette for your bean or perhaps something menial like a set of glasses.

Take a look at Stumble Guys’ trailer below.

Then came the vaulting. If you’re unaware, you can no longer access all of Fall Guys’ levels. Instead, a small shortlist is selected while the others are temporarily locked away, with devs changing this every now and again. You can easily see why for many fans, myself included, it felt like all of the fun was being stripped out of the game.

Players are now forced to play a mixture of dev and player-made levels, following the launch of Fall Guys Creative. Even the developers now use this software to create all dev-made levels, meaning they’re a shadow of what they used to be. It’s gauntlets galore, with very few team-based or survival rounds on offer - and don’t expect much in the way of theming.

I should also mention that while a round of solos used to last for between five and six rounds, that got reduced to three. It’s sad really to see a game that once brought you so much joy and relaxation reduced to something that feels like a hollow shell compared to what it used to be.

Fall Guys /
Epic Games

Changes are being made. Developers have promised to refresh the round selection more regularly than they have been but even still, I rarely venture over to Fall Guys these days, dubious that it can ever be what it was. What you might’ve missed is that a competitor has now arrived in the form of Stumble Guys.

Yes, the very same Stumble Guys you’ve probably already played on your mobile - a competitor that, fair to say, doesn’t mask its inspirations. This free-to-play release recently landed on PlayStation 5 and given my former adoration of Fall Guys, I couldn’t help but check it out.

I want to preface this by saying that Stumble Guys is, on the whole, quite primitive. It’s a basic game and yet it lacks the disillusion I feel when I load up Fall Guys these days. It’s a fresh start, albeit one that’s pretty rough around the edges.

The premise is simple: you'll compete in a number of race and survival-based rounds with a set number of players qualifying to proceed to the next stage. In the final, the first to cross the finish line is the winner. There’s both a free and premium battle pass, so you can still dress up your lil’ fella without spending a dime - and we’re already seeing limited-time events. Just yesterday I ventured over to check out a round of levels made in collaboration with YouTube’s MrBeast.

Stumble Guys /
Scopely

It’s a game that’s fun in short doses, and I mean short. If you make it to a final, the whole experience from round one to the end is unlikely to take you more than five minutes or so. I’ve yet to find myself sticking around for hours but if I’m waiting for my friends to hop online for our latest Fortnite session, Stumble Guys is a great little quick hit of 10-minute fun.

I certainly don’t feel the same way about it as I did during Fall Guys’ heyday, but I can see Stumble Guys’ potential. Its levels are becoming more complex in their design compared to when it first debuted on mobile. The game’s player count is increasing too with a Nintendo Switch launch planned for late 2024. Already, there’s a line of Stumble Guys merch and toys so it must be gelling well with players.

It would be nice to see it start to carve out an identity beyond being somewhat of a Fall Guys clone. My real hope though? I hope Fall Guys feels this heat on its heels, giving devs the jumpstart they need to turn things around.

Featured Image Credit: Scopely

Topics: PlayStation, PlayStation 5, Free Games, Fall Guys, Indie Games, Sony