While attending the 2018 SXSW Gaming Expo, I had a chance to play the demo for a game called Death Coming from NEXT Studio. It instantly came across as an adorably pixelated version of Final Destination and soon found its way into my Steam library. Upon starting it up, the game’s mascot, a purple Grim Reaper, comes on the screen and lets me know that my character has died, however he wants me to come back as his deathly assistant. So, I take the gig and start the massacre.
Within each of the 6 acts, I’m thrown into a chaotic environment, such as a busy neighborhood, bomb factory, and museum, in which I have 3 prized souls to collect and a quota to fill. Depending on how many souls are obtained, players can reach bronze, silver, or gold status. Once you at least hit bronze, you’re able to tell the Reaper that you’d like to move on at any time. Or, you can stay and try to go for gold. The goal is to manipulate objects, referred to as death traps, and situations to kill everyone. Flower pots falling on heads, changing street lights when pedestrians are crossing, bombs exploding, killer plants, and electrocution are just some of the fun ways to collect the souls.
The tricky part with Death Coming lies within your timing of the traps. If you set one off too early, you may miss a target altogether or only get a couple when you could have gotten several if you had waited a few seconds. Some traps are more forgiving than others and can be used multiple times, however others are one and done. You can look at a key that tells you where the traps are, or you can click around and figure it out, since they require two clicks to activate.
The acts get more complicated as you progress and you soon find yourself able to get set some traps only after you complete 1-2 steps before it. For example, having to kill or distract a guard or other character before you can use whatever s/he is guarding or using. It also gets more complicated with the addition of the “police,” or angels. When you’re doing too good of a job, someone up above sends in the angels to catch you. There is a first wave which adds only a few and then a second wave when you keep going. If you’re caught 3 times, you start the act over again.
The music, sounds, and game style keep Death Coming from ever getting too heavy. But don’t let the cutesy style fool you, getting stuck is pretty easy to do and common. Although I did get frustrated a few times when I realized that restarting a level was inevitable, it never got too discouraging and I wanted to keep going. If you’re a completionist, like me, there are some very satisfying achievements, including my next objective- hitting gold status in every act- and 3 hidden that I haven’t quite figured out yet.
If you enjoy puzzle games with a time management element thrown in, plus lighthearted morbid humor, you won’t go wrong picking this up for $6.99 on Steam. It is also available on mobile for $1.99.
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