By Graham Smith on July 30th, 2014 at 10:00 am.
If a certain mixture of screenshake and sound effects can make a game feel Vlambeerian, I think it’s time we cemented clumsy, barely-controllable floppy-physics as Foddyan. Stegersaurus Software’s Mount Your Friends would be Fig. 1 alongside the dictionary definition – and I mean this as a strong compliment. It takes the button-per-limb style of QWOP or GIRP and transports it into something directly competitive.
This is how it works: one player climbs atop a platform, reaches beyond a goal line, and hits a button to fix themselves in place. Player two then has sixty seconds to climb on top of them and reach further before it’s back to player one to climb higher still and so on. In each turn, players are both climber and climbing frame. It’s comic, tense and finally available through Steam as of today. There’s a trailer and some hands-on thoughts below.
Here’s the Steam release trailer:
There’s obvious comedy in this. The concept – MOUNT. YOUR. FRIENDS – is self-explanatory. Every character looks ridiculous (the Steam version has extra customization) and its full of windmilling willies and accidental hand-placements from the climbers.
The greatest source of humour comes from the very real tension the game creates, though. Sixty seconds is a long time to climb a platform or a single person. It’s not very much time at all to climb a flesh mountain that quickly grows six, ten, fifteen people high. There’s strategy to be found in your person placement, as each player tries to create a difficult overhang (teehee) or awkward slope (giggle) for their opponent, but the winner is almost always the person with the mettle not to sweat under the time pressure.
It’s the kind of experience that draws a crowd. I’ve only ever played it at parties with people hotseating so everyone get’s a turn, and people don’t look away when they’re not playing. Everyone is cheering and jeering and laughing when someone inevitably slips and tumbles earthward, their chubby fingers failing to find purchase among their opponents love handles.
Mount Your Friends isn’t a particularly complicated pleasure, so it’s up to you whether you think its worth £4 (or £3.19 in the launch sale). I had fun with it.