Stumble Guys. Fall Guys. Stumble Guys. Fall Guys. Stumble…
The battle royale scene has exploded over the course of the last few years, first with PUBG and Fortnite, and then into various other genres and ideas. For many, it’s the madcap party scene that feels the rightful home for the genre. And if that’s the case, there are two real outstanding options. You can fall with the Fall Guys. Or you can stumble your way to victory with the Stumble Guys. With the latter now on Xbox, the options are even more confusing. But both are free to play, so there’s zero reason to not get involved.
Personally, I find the whole massive multiplayer party knockout scene to be a great one to dip in and out of. I’m not there every single day, hunting crowns. But I do fire things up for a fifteen minute blast whenever boredom creeps in. Mostly I’ve been doing that with Fall Guys over the last year or so. But I think, as of time of writing, it’s the newness of Stumble Guys that prevails.
Don’t get me wrong, there is very little to separate these two games. To an outsider looking in, there is such familiarity between them that many will be hard pushed to notice the difference. But differences there are. And on both sides, those differences come in both the positive and negative manner.
An obstacle based party game that focuses on knockout-styled battle royale mechanics, you should know what to expect in Stumble Guys. Yep, that’s right – you take your little Stumbler, kit them out in a variety of costumes and task them with making it to the end of an obstacle course before all others.
In Stumble Guys those ‘others’ are 31 different folk or AI. Running as a 32-Stumbler knockout, Stumble Guys excels in fast paced gameplay, set across just three stages, as a winner is crowned. There’s little wait to get dropped into a match (a matter of mere seconds) and runs typically last just a minute or so before qualifiers are promoted. Dropping from 32, to 16 and down to 8 for the final run means that it’s easy to blast through multiple rounds of Stumble Guys with little fuss. Having a crown attached to your head within minutes of jumping in is more than possible.
At least, that’s the case when Stumble Guys works. Unfortunately, server issues are prevalent at time of writing and multiple matches have ended in a game freeze, game crash or server error. Thankfully those issues mostly seem to be linked to the time-limited events, but that does mean that a large chunk of the game feels hit or miss as to whether it’ll work or not. Don’t get me wrong, when Stumble Guys stays stable, things are great, but it feels like some polish needs to be applied to the background elements that power it. Oh, and it is in dire need of new backing music. What is in place here is enough for you to be heading to the settings and switching the music volume down as low as it’ll go.
Get lucky and levels are varied, diverse enough to ensure that much fun can be found. Split across multiple level types – Race, Elimination, First Person Stumble, Driving, Team, Collection – there’s some proper creativity included in what Stumble Guys offers, from standard run and jump platforming, ice sliders and water filled chutes. Mostly you’ll be left to cross a finish line before all others in order to proceed, but Stumble Guys also plays on riffs of ‘the floor is lava’ with falling rules and more. Perhaps the big addition though is that of brand integration. A Mr Beast collab level is a cracker, whilst a Hot Wheels racetrack turns Stumble Guys into a basic, but boost-fuelled racer. You can also throw in a first person shooter styled level but honestly, as much as we were excited to see these riffs on the classics, they really are basic offerings at best.
Open multiplayer games and time limited events will play host to most of your Stumble Guys game time. Do so and you’ll be rewarded for pretty much everything you do; stars, gems, battle pass progressions and levels will keep you busy. We don’t think the temptation of dropping real world cash into Stumble Guys for the latest cosmetics is too big a deal either. Perhaps it’s a shame that little is earned if you create private and custom games though; surely it wouldn’t harm the ecosystem too much?
Whatever, the customisation in Stumble Guys is huge. There is an absolute feast of skins, emotes, animations, colours and more that can be infused onto your little Stumbler, running Common, Uncommon, Rare, Epic, Legendary and Mythic versions. Again, there are tons of brands and pop culture additions too, like a Barbie kit to grab the recent movie attention. None change up how Stumble Guys plays, but it’s nice to see a decent variety in place on the Stumble Guys grid. How much you can work that customisation probably depends on your preference to Battle Pass options though. It’s totally your call as to whether you’ll want to go the Premium route.
So, Stumble Guys. A decent alternative to Fall Guys? Yes, and in a few ways, it’ll be the preferred way to take in obstacle course racing battle royale matches going forward. With plenty of customisation, a plethora of levels and ease of entry, there’s no doubt you should be stumbling towards Stumble Guys. But if the lack of polish and server errors continue, this one may stumble in more ways than intended.