Falling is a game by James Ernest, published by Cheapass Games. It is for 4-8 players. In this game, players have been dropped from a plane, pushed off a building or some sort of action that has caused them to be rushing towards the ground, hence the name, “Falling”. The players will be playing cards as they try to be the last one to hit the ground. The player that does this will be declared the winner.
To begin, one player is chosen as the dealer. They will not be one of the falling players. Instead they will be controlling the pace of the game, following the riders instructions and basically refereeing the game. In the basic game, the dealer separates the Ground cards from the deck, also removing the Anvil, Chute and Goggles. The remaining cards are then shuffled and the Ground cards are placed at the bottom of the face down deck. Play now begins.
The game has no turns, rounds or phases as players will be playing cards at their own pace. The game begins with the dealer dealing cards face up into a stack in front of each player. As the dealer deals, the players are able to pick up the top card of their stack to play on themself or another player. However they can only pick up one card and can only play the card in their hand. It can’t be sat back down.
There are several types of cards that can be played. The first type are riders. These cards have the word, “hit”, “split” or “skip” on them. Hits allow a second card to be played on a player’s stack. Splits create a new stack of cards that must have cards dealt to it as well as their starting stack. Skips tell the dealer to deal no cards to that particular player.
The next type of cards are action cards. These cards affect riders. These have the word, “move”, “stop” and “extra” on them. Moves allow a player to take another player’s rider if they have none or to give their rider to a particular player that doesn’t have one. Stops have two abilities. They can be used to discard a rider or to put a Ground card back onto the deck. Extras modify riders. If combined with a hit, two cards are dealt to a player. If combined with a split, two stacks are created instead of just one. If combined with a skip, then no cards are dealt to the player and the player’s skip card remains.
The last card type is the Ground card. If a player receives one of these then they are out of the game. The dealer will deal no more cards to that player. The game continues until only one player is left. That player is the winner and gets to become the dealer for the next game.
The game also has some advanced rules for permanent rider cards. These cards are not swept away and removed like the normal rider cards are. They can be moved and stopped like any normal rider though.
The game consists of only a deck of cards. The cards are really well made and the artwork is really quirky and fun. Everything comes packaged inside a small tuck box. There’s not really much more to say. There are lots of really hilarious images that will make you laugh. The cards are easily shuffled and seem to hold up pretty well.
8 out of 10
The rule book is a folded up sheet of paper. It’s double sided with a couple of pictures on it. There’s a good picture of the set up for the game that shows how everything should be laid out. Everything is easy to read and understand. The rules are laid out really well from both the dealer and player’s perspectives. There are extra rules for the advanced game cards as well. It’s really simple to follow and takes a very short time to read. This gets the job done quite nicely.
8 out of 10
This can definitely be described as a real time game. It can be played really fast or really slow depending on how the dealer deals. The first couple of times playing the game, you will probably want to go slow. As players get more used to the cards, you can speed it up. That’s where this game really shines. It’s a hilarious free for all that will drive you crazy. It’s really frantic and you will find yourself laughing quite a bit. The kids really like the silliness of it all especially the artwork. It’s a really fast game that can usually be played in a matter of a couple of minutes. It’s a great filler game that can be played virtually anywhere that has a flat surface.
8 out of 10
Falling is a light card game of frantic fun. It’s a fairly simple game to learn and play. It’s great for 5 or 6 players but is best with 4. The cards are quite humorous and fun. The game itself is quite short with most sessions lasting only a few minutes. This leads to lots of repeated play. Fans of real time games and crazy fun will love this. It’s family friendly and a great game that can be carried anywhere. It even fits inside your pocket. I recommend you give it a try. You might just find it to be a big HIT with your family and friends.
8 out of 10
For more information about this and other great games, please check out Cheapass Games at their site.