While the point-and-click adventure genre has mostly moved on from the pointing and the clicking to a ‘choose your own adventure’ style structure, some people have been left missing the more item puzzle oriented adventures of days past. Enter The Fall, a Kickstarter success from developers Over The Moon, promising a return to traditional adventure gaming combined with elements of action platforming and an emphasis on darkness.


The Fall’s story begins in a dark cave, after a crash landing. Our main character is not human, but is instead an AI controlled suit named Arid charged with keeping it’s unconscious and injured pilot alive and away from harm. Gameplay wise, things aren’t hugely different from just playing as a person, but this allows character interaction and motivation to progress in interesting directions that have rarely been seen in games. Arid has to obey certain rules based on it’s programming, and it is interesting to see how this plays out in the situations presented by the game. Little about the game’s world and characters is explicitly told to the player, with The Fall instead opting to give the player some agency in just how much or little they engage with the story. Slowly piecing together clues about what has been happening in this unexplored location is immensely rewarding and this method of exploration really encourages you to be thorough in your investigation of the area.


Rather than pointing and clicking to move around the environment like traditional PC adventure games, you will move around the environment in more of an action platformer style. Since you’re no longer clicking to navigate, you interact with the world mostly through Arid’s flashlight. This is used to point at objects of interest and get a short text description or other useful information, as well as to interact with objects. There is some occasional gun combat throughout The Fall making use of cover and somewhat awkward shooting, but it’s certainly not a major part of the game’s progression. Much of your progress will be determined by your ability to solve the crafty puzzles laid before you.

These puzzles are where the biggest old-PC-adventure influence lies. Most puzzles are item based. Find an item somewhere in the environment, and find where you can use it, or what you can use it with, to progress. Personally, I found these puzzles mostly satisfyingly challenging and rewarding to figure out, though there were a couple that felt super obscure in how they were solved. There’s a mixture of “ah, of course that’s how it works!” and “Really, they expected me to work that out?” which thankfully trends towards the former. Regardless, it felt good to go back to this kind of puzzle solution, where you’re left with a feeling of earned achievement once it’s figured out.


The Fall is not technically impressive in it’s presentation, but it never needed to be. In fact, I’d argue that it’s relatively sparse visual and aural presentation serves the game’s subtle storytelling and enhances the oppressive atmosphere. It’s not invoking terror or horror by any stretch, more of a general sense of foreboding. It beckons exploration while encouraging you to take things slow and pay attention to the little details. I did encounter some technical problems, mostly minor aside from one crash needing a reboot of the system, but none of these were frequent or frustrating enough to really affect the experience as a whole.



The Fall isn’t a terribly long game, but I feel it is just long enough. It gives you time to come to grips with how the game plays, introduce some new controls and test your problem solving skills while piecing together a subtly told story with delightful twists and turns. It ends somewhat abruptly, but left me wanting more. More is on the way too, with Over The Moon currently hard at work on Part 2. It’s got some problems with a few overly obscure puzzle solutions and some minor technical issues, but if you’re keen for a game where you need to take things slow and that will reward your attention to detail, The Fall is well worth a look.

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About The Author
Steven Impson
Software developer, podcaster, writer and player of video games.

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