As I sit here in my comfortable chair blissfully engaged in the act of inscribing the words of this review on my computer, I can’t help but let my mind ponder on the way modern games have evolved to become such incredible forms of expression and creativity. Why, just right this minute I catch a beguiling flashback of my time within Mount Your Friends, and as a result I find myself compelled to remove almost every article of clothing upon my person and proceed to scale my nearest chum like a faithfully aged tree in the back garden. Unfortunately I don’t have any friends willing to tolerate such shenanigans, so I’ll have to resort to telling you what this game is and why I felt compelled to open with such an intimately bizarre introduction.
Mount Your Friends is a game in which you control several half-naked bodybuilders by taking control of their arms and legs individually. When a limb comes into contact with another surface the limb will latch on, affording you an anchor point with which to pivot the rest of your body around. Those familiar with games like QWOP or Surgeon Simulator will easily recognize the mechanics at play here, in which the entertainment stems from the sheer difficulty involved with controlling several appendages at the same time, and the aftermath that usually follows when you inevitably fail to do so.
After the first few matches, manoeuvres will start to become more aggressive as you learn how to manipulate your clingy muscle folk in a way that would make Spiderman blush. Since everything you do is affected by gravity and momentum, it’s possible to swing across large distances using the perfect combination of timing and thrust. Of course, these advanced and hugely rewarding tactics come at the cost of being somewhat risky. One false move or misaligned vault across the chasm of man-thighs could cause you to take a tumble down the beef fortress, sealing your fate in the process. All of this combines to make a dynamic of risk vs. reward play, and the resulting successes or failures are what make each match entertaining.
There are a slew of modes included within the game to keep potential ‘mounters’ busy, but the main draw and indeed the focus of the title itself is the concept of mounting your own friends. Available for both local and online multiplayer, the standard mode will see you battling against your opponents as you clamber on top of one another. Each player takes turns adding to an ever expanding tower of oiled men until it gets to a point where the man-statue is so large that you or your opponent cannot scale it within the 60 second time slot granted per turn.
Other modes are on hand to offer alternative objectives, like sprints across great distances and duels with head-mounted swords, and whilst they are entertaining to try out it’s disappointing to see that most are locked to either single player sessions or local multiplayer. It’s worth noting that whilst the single player modes are entertaining to try out, they soon offer little motivation to play again after the first few sessions. The game is at its best when played against other players, and the sense of collective shambling and limb jiggling just doesn’t manage to translate over to any of the solo game modes.
Mount Your Friends is nothing short of a master class in small scale multiplayer mayhem. It takes full advantage of the sexually suggestive nature created from its own image and name, and it runs with it as a consistently entertaining gag throughout the game. While this humour may not appeal to everyone, the game itself has a solid foundation built upon the intentionally obscure control scheme that creates as many victories as it does failures. However, the game is better experienced when playing in the company of friends, either online or locally. The sense of competitiveness that spurs on each match is sorely lacking within the single player modes and you’re not likely to be playing for long if you don’t find any friends to mount.
This game was reviewed using a copy provided by the developer for that purpose.
This review was based on the experiences with the PC version of the game.
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