Falling Review

One of the games that I pulled out of the back of my closet to play again and then review was Falling. (FYI - I have an older printing of the game than the one in the link, so the image will not match entirely).

In Falling, the concept is that you are all falling to the ground (skydiving gone horribly wrong, perhaps?) and that you want to be the last person to hit the ground. One person plays as the dealer in the game, and everyone else plays as people falling to the ground. There are no "turns", but the dealer goes around giving players cards until everyone but one has been eliminated by getting a ground card. While the dealer is giving out cards, each of the players has certain "actions" and "riders" that he can play. A rider is something like "Hit" (which gives the player it is in front of an extra card), "Split" (which gives the player it is in front of an extra pile), or "Skip" (which prevents him from getting any cards). The actions are things like "Push" (where you can push a rider from in front of you to in front of another player) and "Grab" (the opposite of Push).

Falling is an interesting game. The concept is different than I've seen anywhere else, but ultimately, there seemed to be several cons. The first of which was that it was hard to physically play the game. You need to be able to reach across the playing area in order to be able to play riders in front of any of the other players. We played some games with 4-players (minimum required) and some games with more, and the biggest problem we ran into was people running into each other's arms as they are trying to play cards.  Also, if the game were to be played 8-player (maximum suggested), you would have the problem of not being able to reach in front of other players to play riders.

The second problem with the game is related to the concept of it - the speed of the game. Theoretically, you should be playing the game faster as you have more experience with it. Unfortunately, the initial "slow" speed that we played was hard enough to follow - there were often times where players had multiple riders in front of them (which is not legal), and there were several out of place cards that nobody could explain. The dealer is supposed to be the moderator in these situations, but since he is busy dealing out cards, he is not able to follow all of the flow of the game, so he is not really able to make an educated decision on what to do in these situations.

Overall, I give Falling a 5.0/10. The concept is unique and interesting, but the actual execution of the game was somewhat frustrating. If you are a die-hard "speed" player, then this might be a game to checkout, but for most gamers, I would recommend looking elsewhere.

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