Stair Dismount launched on iPhone, first impressions
Takes a nasty, but entertaining spill
Just like Zen Bound, this is a very surreal but engaging iPhone game that tapdances around the edges of the puzzle genre, but never quite fully commits itself to the restrictions of a label. One thing's for sure, though - it's not the serene, meditative experience of Zen Bound.
Stair Dismount is an immensely simple game, executed in a very precise manner that makes you cringe, laugh and take sadistic, guilty pleasure from breaking the bones of your on-screen stooge.
Six very different sets of 3D staircases are provided, with your crash test dummy stood upright and unaware at the top. The stairs don't so much offer a different difficulty level (though getting the dummy all the way to the bottom in a single shove isn't as easy on some as it is on others) as offer you a preference for the backbreaking falls.
The spiral staircase, for instance, has a more slapstick veneer, while the Escher-esque construction offers a lot more opportunity for a chaotic and random spill. The game's success will undoubtedly hinge on Secret Exit keeping a good supply of interesting elevations from which to fall, and the six bundled with the game get things off to a great start.
Stair Dismount essentially draws its appeal from encouraging experimentation, and before long you're looking for the most inventive ways of sending your dummy off the edge: pushing a single foot so it go arse over tit from the outset, or even pushing them backward off the staircase so it's one long, extra-damaging fall.
You can choose where to push (middle of the chest, back of the head, behind the knee and so forth) and determine the force using a fluctuating gauge. And to make the experience a little more personal you can add a photo from the camera roll (or take a new photo directly on the iPhone) and pin a friend's/enemy's face to the dummy before the big shove.
Facebook Connect also gives you the option of making your sadistic tendencies public, with screenshots and info posted directly to your wall.
Stair Dismount is one of those iPhone titles that blurs the distinction between game and application, but the bone-splitting noises and tangibility of each and every impact point makes it morbidly fascinating, and very difficult to put down.
The game was released today, so check out the trailer below and hit the 'Buy It!' button to go and take a closer look.