He tripped and fell. Honest.
Falling down a flight of stairs is no laughing matter. One unfortunately misplaced foot is all it takes, and a painful one way trip to the bottom of the stairs will follow. Falling down the stairs - as anybody who has done so will surely testify to - isn't all that much fun. That said however, it can be pant-wettingly funny to be the one who happens to witness just such an event. Secret Exit were obviously aware of this, and were decent enough to provide iPhone owners with Stair Dismount; a game all about pushing crash dummies down stairs in humorous ways.
The game is alarmingly simple, so much so that some people would argue that Stair Dismount would be better described as an ‘entertaining application’ than a game. However you choose to describe it, there’s no denying the game is jolly good fun, if only for a while. After choosing a stair case, the game pops a crash dummy at the top of it, and allows the player to choose a part of his body to push him from, while a fluctuating gauge at the bottom of the screen determines how hard the push will be. After spending a moment to perfect the push, a quick tap will send the poor fellow hurtling down the stair case. The impressive rag-doll physics employed in the game make for some truly entertaining bails.
As the body tumbles downwards, points are amassed for breaking bones. The more damage you can inflict on the body, the better, and this will be reflected in the score you are given once the body finally comes to a stop. The game forces experimentation, working out the best place to push the dummy for maximum damage. Pushing the dummy head first can provide the most comical falls, but a powerful push to a limb can often yeild higher scores. Repetition and adjustment are at the heart of the Stair Dismount experience.
There’s little more to the game than this. A choice of six stair sets help lengthen the games appeal, but the core gameplay never changes. What Stair Dismount lacks in depth however, it makes up for in presentation. The game shares a very similar aesthetic to that of Secret Exit's previous game; Zen Bound – meaning that graphically the game is more than impressive. Couple this with another fantastic soundtrack and you have a game you’d be proud to show to your friends.
On the subject of friends, a large portion of fun to be had with the game comes from the Facebook integration, which I personally have been having more fun than I perhaps should do with. Upon starting the game, there’s an opportunity to connect to Facebook and find a friends profile picture to map to the head of the crash dummy. I chose AppGamer’s very own Chris Thomas, and proceeded to throw him down numerous flights of stairs (ensuring I broke as many of his bones as physically possible), taking photos as I did so. I could then upload these photos to Facebook from within the game, where the whole world could then bear witness to Chris flying head first down some stairs.
Ultimately Stair Dismount fails to be much more than a quick five minutes of fun. Blurring the line between game and app, Secret Exit have created a product that is genuinely hard to score fairly. On the one hand it is a shallow gaming experience that most people will get bored of in a matter of minutes. But on the other it is a quirky little title with incredibly high production values and some fantastically innovative features. Whichever camp you end up settling in, Stair Dismount offers an experience that most people will find something to enjoy about. Just be sure not to play it at the top of any flights of stairs.
- Sound: 8
- Graphics: 9
- Gameplay: 6
- Longevity: 4
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