As much as I love a video game with intricate plots and complex characters, there are definitely times when I want to play a quick, simple game. As I have discovered, the simplest of games are often the best for helping me to relieve stress or “zone out” as I mull over various creative ideas. Recently, I’ve been turning to a handful of mobile games that fit the bill perfectly. They’re simple, straightforward and surprisingly entertaining.
The mobile game that I am reviewing today was developed by the French game publisher, Ketchapp, who have perfected the art of simplicity. I’ve actually been playing (and loving) several Ketchapp games lately. Though their games are the furthest thing from complicated, they are usually highly addictive. Their scrolling jumper game, The Floor Is Lava, is no exception.
I’ve been playing The Floor Is Lava over the past month or so, but have been postponing its review. I’m actually quite glad that I waited as long as I did to show you guys this game because their recent update completely changed my opinion of it. The update has fixed many of the complaints that I (and others) had about the overall gameplay, so it’s good that the developers made the necessary tweaks. A few new features were added as well, so the game is a little more well rounded now. Even though I’m going to be discussing the game as it currently stands, I will still mention some of the older features to give you an idea of how it has changed. Let’s go ahead and jump into what this game is all about!
What’s The Point?
The basic premise of The Floor Is Lava is to safely lead your character through his house by jumping over and on top of a variety of objects. Chairs, sinks, coffee tables, beds and washing machines of all shapes and sizes are scattered along his path. All you have to do is jump over them by tapping the screen.
Sound easy? Under normal circumstances, it would be. However, our little buddy has a house that periodically fills up with scalding lava, making it occasionally impossible for him to touch the floor. The lava eventually drains away, making the floor safe to run on again, but it never stays gone for long. Touching the lava means instant death, so it is your job to ensure that your character doesn’t burn to a crisp. No pressure.
The Floor Is Lava is a diagonally-slanted scrolling jumper. I don’t think I’ve ever played a scrolling jumper with a diagonal orientation before this game, but it makes for a very interesting experience. Prior to the update, this perspective was a bit of a hindrance due to the game’s jerky and unpredictable scrolling. It is sometimes difficult to see where the edge of objects start and stop anyway, but experiencing frequent glitches on top of it was a frustrating combination for many players. After all, if you can’t see where you are going, your jump timing will be off…leading to a face full of lava.
Now that the glitchy gameplay has been fixed, the perspective isn’t as much of a problem. I’m definitely used to it now and think that it’s a nice change from the usual side or vertical scrolling that I tend to see.
Free. I like free, don’t you?
Compatible Apple Devices
This game is currently available for play on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
Prior to the last update (effective 7/1/17), the main screen only showed you your current/best scores, settings, leaderboards, share button and an option for turning off ads.
The new main screen has a little more to offer than the old one did, including:
- Current Score
- Best Score
- Coins Collected
- Character Selection
- Challenge Progress
The ads are still present in the updated version, but I no longer see an on-screen option for turning them off. In addition to an ad bar along the bottom of all screens (which I have cropped out of these screenshots to provide a better viewing experience), a separate full-screen ad is typically shown upon each death. The game does give you the option of watching a video advertisements in exchange for useful game items, including the option to be revived upon death. This sometimes comes in handy if you are on the last round of a challenge that needs to be completed consecutively. You wouldn’t want to start all over, would you?
Some people may not mind the ads popping up, but others may find them highly annoying. I personally don’t mind the ads that much since they don’t interrupt actual gameplay. However, it would be nice to not have the full-screen ads pop up as often as they do. This is especially true since there is already an ad bar that continually shows at the bottom of the screen. Frequent game ads have been commonplace across all of the Ketchapp games I’ve played, but that’s how I’ve found out about their other games. This being said, I’ll continue to tolerate them.
Since the game is infinite, there are no levels and no endpoint. If you didn’t have a life and you wanted to play this game until the end of time, you would probably be able to run and jump with your little character until he, you or your device croaked. So, your real objective is to get the highest score you possibly can. Game points are racked up each time you successfully clear a piece of furniture. For example, one kitchen counter = 1 point. There are also a few items that you can collect along the path to assist you in gaining points easier, faster and with a lot less risk of lava exposure.
Your default character is The Runner (looking quite spiffy in his sweatband, if I may say so myself). With the recent update, there are now 24 other characters that you can unlock with coins. The specific character is picked at random though, so you can’t choose which one you want to unlock next. As you can see here, one of my acquisitions is this fine looking specimen: The Lumberjack. I haven’t unlocked too many characters yet, so I’m not sure what all the other characters are yet. However, I think this is a fun addition to the game.
Coins are a new feature that were added in the last update. You can collect them as you jump along the path. You can also earn coins by viewing ad videos. Coins are used to purchase power-ups and new characters. Coins are cumulative across game sessions and are (thankfully) retained upon death.
Hearts were present even prior to the update. These are going to be your only saving grace in the event that you miss your footing. By collecting hearts along your character’s journey across the house, you will allow them to quickly and safely get back on course after momentarily burning themselves (and literally setting their butts on fire). Hearts are lost each time that you fall into the lava, so you must re-accumulate them as you play each new session.
Red rockets are a new addition to the game and can be unlocked and upgraded by spending coins. By snagging one of these babies, your character will be able to cruise in style through the air for a period of time—-avoiding any furniture and lava along the way. The only downside to using rockets is that you will miss collecting many coins that you pass over due to the rocket flying too high for you to collect them. You can, however, still collect hearts, which I find quite useful. After all, there are no free rides in this game. You have to land sometime. Trust and believe, the lava will be waiting for you.
Balloons, like rockets, are another newly added feature of the game that allow you to soar over obstacles and lava when collected. You can extend your ride time on your balloons by upgrading them with coins.
By unlocking this power-up, you will periodically come across special red coins that if grabbed, will spawn a collection of coins to be picked up. Upgrading this particular perk will make the special coins more prevalent.
Unlocking this perk makes power-ups—- of all kinds—- more available throughout your runs. The more aids you have, the higher your score will likely be. You’ll probably survive longer as well!
The game now features mini challenges that reward you with coins upon their completion. You must complete one challenge before another one becomes available, but I have found the challenges to be pretty easy thus far. Some of them require you to jump a certain amount of times in a run, collect a particular number of coins across several runs or even die before you reach a certain score for a run. For now, there are 100 challenges in all. What happens when you complete all 100? You’ll have to play to find out!
Game Yays & Nays
+ Yay For Changeable Characters
I’m glad that they added this feature because it gives the game a bit more substance. Instead of simply trying to survive, you have new objectives to reach. Though it doesn’t impact general gameplay at all, being able to change and collect new characters is still fun. It shouldn’t take long to unlock all of them, but I’m hoping future updates provide additional characters to strive for. I actually think it would be cool for each character to have their own unique skill opposed to them simply looking different. I’m just sayin’.
+ Yay For Powerups and Mini Challenges
The new update certainly made the game feel better fleshed out. The original version got rather boring after a few minutes, so having things to work towards makes you more apt to play longer and more frequently. I really like the fact that they’ve added coins for collection because now you aren’t jumping around mindlessly—-you’re actually searching for things. Being able to collect power-ups gives you an increased chance of improving your score, so I like that as well. The mini challenges can be fun and make the game more interesting. They’re pretty easy to achieve, so it’s a quick way to rack up extra coins and get those upgrades you’ve been eyeing.
+ Yay For It Being Progessively Challenging
Though the game is relatively easy, it’s not too easy. There are definitely things they could do to make the game a bit more difficult, but they’re on the right path so far. I appreciate that the scrolling speed gradually increases over time because it tailors the game to your skill level. If you are just starting out, you definitely have enough time to get used to how to play before it speeds up on you. The better you get at staying out of the lava, the faster it goes.
I also like how there are varying sizes to the furniture you jump on and over. It’s nothing too crazy, but at least you have to learn how to time jumps according to the length of the platform. This is especially true when you are trying to reach power-ups. It isn’t always easy to jump up for a coin and land in time to jump to the next piece of furniture. Therefore, it can be somewhat challenging to learn when to jump and when to stay put.
– Nay To Having Viewing Obstructions While Playing
I really don’t care for how various graphics tend to obstruct your view of the game from time to time. For instance, there are often game ads that are directly placed over the top of your best score on the main screen. Okay, perhaps this isn’t the biggest deal in the world, but it can be annoying to have something completely covering up your best score when you are trying to beat it. Knowledge is power, after all.
Also, whenever the lava is about to fill up the house, there is an audible warning…along with large graphics that pop up to cover a good majority of the screen. I’m not totally opposed to the on-screen graphic, but why does it have to crop up RIGHT ON TOP of the path while I’m running? Half of my deaths occur shortly after this graphic coming onscreen due to not being able to see where I’m going until after it disappears. By then, I usually realize that I’ve jumped when I should have stayed or stayed when I should have jumped. These graphic obstructions are especially frustrating when furniture is spaced closer together and scrolling speeds are increased—-there is no time for jump miscalculations. I’m sure you know what ends up happening: Hasta la vista, Lumberjack man!
– Nay To Gameplay Being Monotonous
Some people might become bored with the general scenery in this game after awhile. There are no levels, so you see the same thing every single time you play. Although I like the new adjustments to the game, I think adding levels would lead to a more enjoyable experience overall. It would be nice to have different kinds of scenes and obstructions for each level—-not just home furniture. Perhaps you could play in a kitchen one level and in a mall the next. I definitely think switching up the environments would make the game more appealing in the long run.
Thanks to the latest update, the Floor Is Lava is a much better game now. It plays pretty smoothly and it offers a lot more features than it once did. There’s a decent balance of reward and frustration, so it tends to be a rather addictive game for me. With the update, the game is starting to give me Subway Surfer vibes and I loved that game once upon a time. I’m hoping that they continue to add on to the game and change things up over time because it has a lot of potential.
Overall, I think this game is quite fun and I definitely recommend it (if you aren’t too annoyed by ads). It is super easy to play and it’s free of inappropriate subject matter, making it a good casual game for players of all skill levels and ages.
As I’ve already mentioned, I’ve been playing quite a few Ketchapp games lately, so stay tuned to see my reviews for those, as well as others. If there’s a particular game you think I should play and feature on here, just let me know! Still looking for more mobile games worth playing? Check out what I thought about Eggggg. ‘Til next time…stay golden ❤