Balconing Simulator 2020 might be fun for a short moment, but its physics-based comedy becomes tiresome quickly even at its budget price point.
It’s only natural to feel restricted in the current situation of the COVID-19 pandemic. After all, so much of day-to-day life has been disrupted, from going to work through to seeing movies at the cinema. For all its flaws (and there are a few), at least Balconing Simulator 2020 gives players a sense of freedom.
Funnily enough, Balconing Simulator 2020 comes from a studio that has previous experience with COVID-19-related gaming. Developer Fancy + Punk brought the realities of life through lockdown to the digital form with Coronavirus Simulator, as one of the seemingly-constant run of simulator games appearing on Steam. Balconing Simulator 2020 is similar, providing irreverent comedy with an outlandish premise at a budget price.
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The goal of Balconing Simulator 2020 is quite simple. From the player’s balcony of their apartment, they need to navigate the furniture onto the balcony and dive down into the pool below. This is easier said than done, with the player’s movement impeded by both the game’s control scheme and the assortment of bits and pieces that litter the floor of the apartment.
Balconing Simulator 2020‘s controls are awkward and obtuse by design. Taking cues from meme-worthy games such as QWOP and the ever-popular Surgeon Simulator, the player character is moved by quick button taps towards their goal. However, it’s much more simplistic than the better examples of hard-by-design control schemes and quickly grows tiring, with the only variation coming from the different spawned character models or occasional shake-ups like a ‘selfie mode’ run where the player’s view is restricted.
Much like other simulation games, the fun then comes from the destruction that can be found, either by taking advantage of the ragdoll physics of the character model or how far the game can be broken. This could be either splashing into the swimming pool or onto one of the tables and chairs on the ground floor. Otherwise, the player could find that they stumble into a bookcase or wall, or make it to their bed, with each outcome giving a different score and mention at the end of the round.
Aside from the vague enjoyment of watching the ragdoll figure smash into the scenery or land successfully into the pool, it’s all a bit basic in terms of end goal. The player gets points for their end result, with bonuses for drinking or taking pills before causing whatever chaos awaits them. Get a high enough score and the player will move to a different room and get their name painted in the neon high scores board, but the experience doesn’t really change.
Because of this, Balconing Simulator 2020 ends up feeling very limited. It’s a genre that often relies on an immediate pull towards the strange or ridiculous, which the game provides, but the best of the genre like Goat Simulator have that special something that keeps the player coming back for more. There is even less variety than Coronavirus Simulator, and what’s there is unlikely to bring players back.
This leaves Balconing Simulator 2020 in a difficult position. There’s not a lot to do at all, leaving it as yet another simulator game that will be picked up for a half hour of play before being discarded to the elephant graveyard of forgotten Steam library games. It’s not the worst simulator game out there, but it’s still not going to stand up as a memorable or particularly funny gaming experience.
More: Theme Park Simulator Review: Not Worth The Price of Admission
Balconing Simulator is out now for PC. Screen Rant was provided with a PC download code for the purposes of this review.
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