Thursday, April 25

Review: Death Coming [Nintendo Switch eShop]


While I’m a huge fan of puzzle games I’ll admit that having played so many over time it can be tough not to get a bit jaded with them. While new ideas come to the table periodically, and are exciting, too often games with reasonable mechanics but stale ideas are put out and for genre veterans that’s a drag. Certainly one way to help make gameplay that may not be as fresh entertaining is to use humor or the unexpected to your advantage, though I’ve found for this to work you need to go all in. That’s certainly what the people behind Death Coming have shot for, and the result is a puzzling experience not quite like anything I’ve played, and if you’ve got a bit of a sick streak in you the chain-reaction death and destruction you can unleash can be both entertaining and satisfying.


In the game you’ll play as a Reaper, whose goal is to collect as many souls as possible. The catch is that you’re unable to do the killing directly, you’ll need to make smart and often patient use of elements in the environment in each level to bring people to an untimely demise. While there are simpler kills you’ll be able to get my doing things like knocking over signs or other objects that are obvious the real creativity and fun kicks in when your tasks are more complex, requiring that you kick off a chain of deaths.


The can get quite strategic and tends to be where replay value kicks in, as your first time through you won’t always understand how everything works. Knowing that some things that you’re able to trigger will spread danger into a larger area if you’re efficient you can scare a small crowd into that space by dropping things near them, meaning when you drop a power line into the pool you can have the satisfaction of frying a big group all at once and you’ll be rewarded with bonus points accordingly for the combo. Just to make things a little more challenging as you find success angels will be sent around to patrol and try to thwart you but as long as you’re patient they’re not much of a threat.


If you’ve got a bit of a sick streak this game absolutely delivers great moments that will make you break out your most evil laugh. Sure, dropping a potted plant on someone’s head is fun as a one-off kill but the game’s consistent pattern of giving you breadcrumbs for how to trigger a big event, but not having it be clear what will happen until you kick it off, makes for some bloody surprises that are a ton of fun. This is a great game to slowly explore and is full of discovery moments that often lead to hilarious death and destruction. If that statement doesn’t offend you, and instead makes you giggle with anticipation this is likely a title for you.


Score: 8.5

Pros:
  • Pixel art death and destruction, most of it full of surprises
  • Chain reaction sequences can be challenging but also are so satisfying when you pull them off
  • A very fair budget price per evil laugh

Cons:
  • If you don’t have a morbid sense of humor this absolutely won’t be a good match for you
  • A rewind option would have been great to remove the need to start a level over if you mess up a big kill