Falling: Basic game strategy

This was originally posted to the yyrGames forums on Mar 13, 2010 at 5:52 pm, and was last updated in 2017.

- Kick a lot. Kicking is the most effective way to cause blocks to move. So consider kicking first, before considering a different course of action.

- Blocks will slow their horizontal movement when on top of the floor, or another block. So the way to get a block to travel the furthest is by kicking it off another block so that it flies through the air. Because there is less friction, it will travel much further. This is illustrated in the attract mode demo.

- Blocks will smash if hit by another block from the side. If a block lands on top of another, it will stack, regardless of whether the colors match. Remember this before trying to throw from short range!

- Scoring: Smashing a pair of white blocks earns you 100 points. Red: 200 points. Blue: 400 points. Green: 800 points. Defeating Wally gets you 1000 points. You receive 0 points for eliminating single blocks by kicking them against a wall or a different-colored block. And of course, you receive whatever is left on the bonus timer when you complete a level.

- If you crush Wally between two blocks, and eliminate those blocks at the same time, you get double points for both the blocks and Wally. This is called a Combo, and the game will inform you that you got it.

- At first, the Up+Action move (drop a block below you) appears to only be useful when you're trapped on both sides. But if you drop a block in this manner directly on top of a matching-color block, the pair of blocks will smash! This will only work if the block you're dropping ONLY touches the one you want to smash...if it touches any other blocks as well, the smash won't happen.

- Wally can immediately react to a block if hit from the side when he's walking towards it. On later levels, he can even kick it right back at Peppy, possibly knocking him out instantly.* The best way to defeat Wally is by crushing him from above, or when his back is turned, so that he can't react at all.
* Knocking Peppy out instantly does not happen in Falling Plus. It's a bug.

- If you run out of time and the fire starts to drop, don't give up yet. You can't jump over fire unless you're jumping from on top of something...you won't make it all the way over. But you can use the blocks around you to deal with the fire in several different ways. For example, dropping or throwing a block on top of the fire will extinguish it, leaving the block intact. Pushing or throwing a block into fire will get rid of both the fire and the block. And of course, carrying a block will protect you from falling fire. If time is running out, you may want to position yourself around a bunch of blocks so you can take advantage of these techniques.

Some Wally-related pointers:

- The safest time to jump over Wally, if you're on the same level, is when Wally is walking in the opposite direction, and has plenty of room to move forward. Do not attempt to jump over Wally if you're both moving in the same direction, unless he's about to stop moving; you won't make it.
- Be mindful of what Wally has in front of him. He will stop moving when in front of overhanging blocks.
- Peppy is only strong enough to push 2 blocks at once. Wally, on the other hand, is a beast and can push 6.
- If Wally is pushing up to 2 blocks, you can stop him from pushing by pushing back from the other side.
- This applies to both Peppy and Wally: the more stuff they're pushing, the slower they can push. Take advantage of this by adding blocks to Wally's path while he's pushing. Be careful not to smash blocks in Wally's pile, because he'll then be able to push faster. If Wally is pushing 6 blocks and you add a 7th, he'll have to stop immediately.
- When Wally can't walk forward any more, and encounters a block, he will either stop moving and turn around, jump over it (beginning in round 4), try to push it (beginning in round 6), or kick it (beginning in round 8, I think). He will never do more than one of these before turning around and walking in the other direction.

Looking for a dangerous, but potentially rewarding shot at bonus score? Fire is worth 1000 points. You will score the points regardless of how the fire is eliminated, directly or indirectly... so if you're feeling particularly brave, you may want to give it a try!