The main casualty of advancements in online gaming has been local co-op. We all have memories of convening at a friend’s basement or room and playing games together while screaming about screen-peeking, cheat codes, and all other manner of sore loser-isms. Developer Stegersaurus Software Inc. shares those memories and made Mount Your Friends as a callback to the glory days of old. Needless to say, Mount Your Friends is definitely a much more explicit game than anything we played growing up. Never in my life did I expect to write this sentence but the dong physics are second to none.
The first thing you notice about Mount Your Friends is the gang of Speedo-clad, Diglett-looking bodybuilders that you control. The premise of the original mode of the game is simple enough: each player has 60 seconds to climb on top of an ever-growing pile of the other players and get as high as they possibly can, with whoever tops the pile being the winner.
The challenge comes from the control scheme. Like the Assassin’s Creed franchise, each of the four input buttons controls one limb. Hold down a button and move the joystick to swing a limb; once you release the input button, if you are touching a surface, that limb will adhere to that surface and won’t let go until you manually move the limb again.
Climbing the tower of muscular flesh can be easier once you figure out how to fling yourself from limb ledge to limb ledge, but until then you’ll find yourself slowly climbing up with all the grace of a newborn giraffe. However, this method runs the risk of either under- or overshooting your target and finding yourself flopping through the air until you splat onto the ground. While playing this game with friends, you find yourself either cackling like a madman at their ineptitude or malevolently planning on how to smack the controller out of their hands while playing it off as an accident.
In addition to the original race-to-the-top mode, there are a myriad of gameplay modes for both single and multiplayer. You can race to see who can traverse a rocky obstacle course and collect the most coins, make a bridge across a chasm, or even a freestyle mode without a timer to see what flexing muscular shapes you can build.
The music in the game is just as well-designed as every other aspect of the game. While playing a head-to-head game, the music takes on this epic feel, as if climbing this mountain of digital flesh is as grand as traversing Middle-Earth. I half-expected Gandalf to pop up as the next climber I controlled. If you pull off a particularly long climb, you hear your character stretch and strain to get that last bit of height.
As a multiplayer game, Mount Your Friends is as hilarious and entertaining as they come. Unfortunately, the single player mode gets old after a while. It’s not that the game is boring, but without playing against someone to challenge you, the game loses its appeal. Luckily for those without friends nearby, Mount Your Friends is playable online as well as with a local competitive co-op. There are global leaderboards for those who want to push themselves to keep climbing, but most of the fun comes from watching your friends struggle to climb above the human obstacle you put above them.
Mount Your Friends is a dong-swingingly good time and is available now for Xbox 360 and PC.
[+Easy to pick up][+Great, epic music to make the climb fun][+A blast to play with friends][+Dong physics][-Loses its charm when you’re playing alone]