A Mini Falafel Adventure

A game by Beadybox for PC, originally released in 2015.
A Mini Falafel Adventure is a game about an anthropomorphic falafel who goes on an adventure to rescue his also-an-anthropomorphic-falafel friend who was abducted by aliens while the pair were out hopping around. The game is a metroidvania, but unlike traditional genre entries, which tend to be large and lengthy adventures, this game is quite short and focuses on multi-phase boss encounters rather than the spaces in between, and the game can be completed in under two hours.

The falafel hero has a 2x nonvariable jump and the ability to swim across pools of water, but he begins the game with no offensive abilities. Dangers include blocks that spit flame spouts a couple of seconds after you step on them, and some hopping enemies.

The falafel has four units of health, but checkpoints are fairly frequent, so players are not sent back very far when they die. There are no enemy drops, but the player does occasionally encounter hearts that restore his life back to full.

The game consists of linked single-screen environments, often with branching paths, although many of these paths loop back in on themselves. The game offers no map, but the simple layouts and very limited backtracking make such a feature largely unnecessary.

Early in the going, the player encounters his first new ability in the form of exploding mines, and these act as the player’s primary weapon and navigation tool throughout the adventure. However, these mines are quite unlike the weapons found in most action-adventure titles…

The player is able to drop as many mines as he likes, stringing a trail of them behind himself if he chooses. Like the torch blocks, these mines flash and spit out a flame spout after a few seconds. Because the flames are stationary, most enemies are defeated by luring them into the flames. However, these mines have a secondary function in that they launch the falafel high into the air if he drops one and stands over it, allowing him to reach higher platforms.

This unique weapon leads to some complex boss encounters where players must alternate between luring smaller enemies into flame spouts, using mines to launch themselves over obstacles, and dropping mines in key locations to harm the boss’ weak point. The weapon is challenging to use effectively since players must also be careful not to fall back down onto their own flame spouts after launching themselves into the air.

Throughout the game, the player earns abilities and upgrades which allow him to reach new areas and to backtrack short distances into previously-explored areas to open new routes. New abilities include underwater movement (where mines launch the player but don’t spit flames), the ability to use mines to destroy small blocks, and the ability to make huge leaps…

Humorously, the game's magical high-jump energy drink is supposed to be taken one drop at a time, but the narrator encourages the falafel to glug the entire bottle, which causes all of his jumps to slam him forcefully into the ceiling. After knocking himself unconscious with his first jump, the falafel reads the warning label which says “Do not glug”.

An upgrade for the mines allows the player to flip them into the air to damage enemies above him, which opens up some more complex combat possibilities, especially since flipping mines is done by holding the ACTION button. This means that players have three possible options when using a mine: drop it and run to use it as a weapon, stand over it to use it as a springboard, or flip it into the air to hit airborne enemies. Some of the more complex boss encounters require the player to switch frequently between these three uses.

The game even features a shmup sequence where the player pilots a small craft through an enemy base with waves of weaker enemies flying in formation, punctuated by energy-firing turrets and eyeballs that materialize and then rush toward the player’s position. The player encounters a miniboss and boss during the flight sequence, the former of which requires the player to lure eyeballs into a dark wall, and the latter defies player expectations and has the falafel sandwiched between two dark walls and facing a powered up eyeball enemy.

For as short as the game is, it takes many opportunities to inject humor and play with the player’s expectations, such as creating a fake heart pickup in a dead end room that reveals a boss encounter. Even destroying bosses occasionally results in humorous sequences, such as “Alfro”, whose weak point is his huge afro, which can only be attacked by setting mines on its disconnected head… after which the afro comes to life and escapes, only to come back later to enact its revenge.

Defeating the “Fatto Tomato” miniboss gives the player the ability to move underwater, but not through the use of an item; rather, the creature bursts into a bunch of tiny tomatoes upon death, and the falafel eats them all, gaining weight so that he no longer floats on the water’s surface.

The game is presented in a 4-color style, mimicking Game Boy visuals. The player can also adjust the graphics options do add color filters that change the game from its default brownish look. Beating the game shows the player’s completion time… and there is also a bad ending to be found in the final area, which is in place just for laughs. Otherwise, players can continue forward to the game’s huge multi-phase final boss encounter.

A Mini Falafel Adventure was developed by Chris Nimmo under his Beadybox label, with music composed by Reed Richards (presumably not from the Fantastic Four). The game was originally released in 2007 as a contest entry. Later, Chris spent his free time developing the full version of the game over the course of three years.

Chris has developed a number of freeware games over the years, including Uchuusen and 14.