Daniel Steger, a game developer who releases under the name Stegersaurus Games is not known for taking the art form of video games very seriously. Their name-defining game Baby Maker Extreme is one of the top sellers on Xbox Live Indie Games. His most recent release is a pseudo-platforming game entitled Mount Your Friends, currently available on XBLIG and up for voting on Steam Greenlight.
If “bizarre” is a genre, then Mount Your Friends would be the defining game of it. The gameplay has you build (Mount) a tower made out of randomly generated humans (your friends) built on top of a goat. Still with me? You control one human at a time, and each one of the face buttons controls a separate limb that you move with the joystick. If you’re alone, there are a small handful of challenges you can play, or you can hop online for a 1v1. Local play is also possible with the 1v1 mode and tournament play.
I highly recommend you play this game with a friend. Playing alone will get you a chuckle, but playing with other people around you is totally different. You can try to sabotage your friend from beating you, only to backflip onto your own side and make your goal harder to reach. You can pull some crazy stunts once you get a handle on the physics of the game. For clarification, I’m talking about the physics of their bodies. Not the…other physics that are ever-present in this game.
Mount Your Friends highlights two types of absurdity in video games. The first type is on the surface; the way the game is drawn, the objective of the game, and the basic gameplay can make a game really funny, right off the bat. This is omniscient in Mount Your Friends. You’ll have multiple first time players asking questions like “Why the heck are we climbing a goat?” or “How does it spin in a whole circle and not hurt?”
The other type of absurdity is from the strategies you’ll develop playing this. During my 2nd match against a friend, I started building to the right of the screen in an arc, trying to block him off from building high up. As a result, my friend used momentum to do flips over what I’d built, and ended up building on my side, trying to cut me off. It’s a lot like Divekick, where surface-level simplicity leads to incredibly complex strategies.
The randomly-generated bodies that you have to stack are pretty silly, and the art looks really childish and crude, but it’s tough to complain when the price tag is only a dollar. That still seems to be the trend with these XBLIG games. Some simple gameplay, a cheap price, and the game is just entertaining enough for a few rounds and nothing more.
[review pros=”Hilarious, decent multiplayer game concept, only costs a freaking dollar” cons=”Not much replayability, not a single player game” score=65]