Anthony LaVelle, creator of the K.O.L.M. series of moody platform games, brings us a lighter offering with Fall Damage, a vertical-scrolling platformer in which you guide a flightless, half-hatched baby bird (whom I'll call Sheldon, naturally) groundwards, without falling too much, too fast. Guide the little fledgling with the [left] and [right] arrow keys. Watch your step, as too big a drop will damage poor little Sheldon, and too much falling damage ends the game. You can move into a vertical surface to slide down and slow your rate of fall, and you can also make use of a handful of gravity-fighting power-ups, including parachutes (deployed with the [spacebar]) and pogo sticks. It's a good thing someone thought to litter Sheldon's path with these unlikely artifacts of human civilization, or he'd never make it past all the hazards and obstacles that stand between him and the safety of the ground below.
Fall Damage is a fine though uncomplicated diversion. Similar how-low-can-you-go games have been made before, but few strike such a relaxed pace. From the cute little eggman protagonist to the gentle background music (apart from the pathos-filled piano cadenza when you fall for the last time), the production strives for a soothing, low-key experience. For the most part the same can be said for the gameplay, though the semi-random level designs don't always give Sheldon a chance to fall undamaged. Still, while not the most addictive title, the helpless little birdie is sympathetic enough that you'll want to play again, just for another chance not to let him down and see him to his goal. Falling Damage is cute, simple, and worthy of a few moments in your day.