The Floor is Lava – Existential Frustration

Jun 26, 2017
Casual

The Floor is Lava brings the childhood living room game to your mobile, complete with the frustration and intensely loud crashing noises.

These noises and immense frustration come from you, whenever you very suddenly die to lava or accidentally miss a jump and find yourself swearing like a sailor.

The Floor is Lava is a simple platformer based around the old school premise of getting the hell away from whatever is trying to kill you. A gigantic pool of lava is reaching vertically, forcing your strange little blob character to ascend to the heavens by jumping from platform to platform. Each platform is either on the left or the right, forcing you to correctly manage your taps in pace with the new platforms. If you jump on the wrong one, it would appear your character gives up and the lava kills you instantly.

The Floor is Lava Review | Appolicious

The Floor is Lava brings the childhood living room game to your mobile, complete with the frustration and intensely loud crashing noises. Read our review: https://appolicious.com/the-floor-is-lava-existential-frustration

While it does make sense to have a mechanic to punish you for mistiming a jump, it makes little sense to completely end the game and force you to restart. Sometimes you will miss a jump but there is clear space above you, so all’s that happened is you immediately fell back down. Why did the lava appear so quickly?! Did it sense failure and moved in to kill?

Why did the lava appear so quickly?! Did it sense failure and moved in to kill?

The idea behind many of these simple platformer mobile games is to repeat the process again and again, giving you a score every time you died. This sense of completionism is what drives most players to keep playing the same thing again and again. This is pretty common in these types of games, but it does beg the question of why it needs to exist in the first place?

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If there was sufficient variety of gameplay, there wouldn’t need to be a highscore-based achievement system. If there were more things to do, then there wouldn’t need to be a constant resetting of the player’s progress every time they made a small mistake.

The Floor is Lava makes you think of these deep game design questions because you have nothing else to do while screaming in anger at your phone because you clicked the wrong side of the screen by accident and thus lost all your progress. When in that rage-fueled, red mist state, there’s nothing else to do but wonder how and why you got here. Eventually your mind will drift towards considering your ultimate purpose in the universe and whether maybe, just maybe, you shouldn’t squander your brief life on this planet playing a frustrating jumping platformer.

Like an eternal punishment meted out by an unjust God, The Floor is Lava will annoyingly keep you playing for quite a long time, if only to prove to yourself that you can beat this lava infested, jumping nightmare.

This will, sadly, be immediately forgotten when your primitive monkey brain demands that you beat your previous abysmal high score and finally reach the top of the eternal chasm, at last escaping the lava. Like an eternal punishment meted out by an unjust God, The Floor is Lava will annoyingly keep you playing for quite a long time, if only to prove to yourself that you can beat this lava infested, jumping nightmare.

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The Floor is Lava
The Floor is Lava
Developer: Gold Coast Apps
Price: Free
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Sam Eskenazi

Sam is a YouTuber, Streamer & Games Journalist. He loves to cook and listen to the sound of his own voice, ideally at the same time.

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