101 Ways To Die (PC) Preview

By Athanasios 23.01.2016 1

Review for 101 Ways To Die on PC

Puzzlers can safely be divided into two major categories, #1: the unashamed clones, which are usually so below average in quality that they don't even manage to flatter the original sources of inspiration by imitating them accurately, and, #2: those that try something different - and, boy, if there's a genre full of wacky ideas, it is surely this one. 101 Ways to Die isn't just another uninspiring piece of garbage, therefore, it clearly belongs in the second group, but is it any fun? Learn all about the pre-release build of Four Door Lemon's debut title in this Cubed3 preview.

Dr. Splatunfuder's life work, a special kind of recipe book, is near its completion… but then one of his 'Splatts' accidentally drops a bomb, destroying it in the process, and forcing the unfortunate doc to find someone to "rediscover for me the 101 Ways to Die!" Oh, yes, the coveted recipes aren't about tasty spaghetti, juicy steaks, or healthy salads, but about ways to trap and kill, with the so called Splatts being the bio-engineered crush dummies of this weird experiment.

The concept is interesting, to say the least, and, gameplay-wise, it plays like a bit like an inverted version of Lemmings since the goal isn't saving Splatts, but rather killing them in all sorts of imaginative ways. Various tools are available at beginning of each level; tools that can be placed on various surfaces and spots, and which range from catapults, spikes, and mines, to cannons, bombs, and even a couple of litres of green slime - perfect for helping the Splatts fall into a pit of liquid hot magma.

Screenshot for 101 Ways To Die on PC

All levels provide graduated and master objectives, with the first being simple tasks that are required to complete the stage, and which usually require killing one or more Splatts with a certain trap, while master ones need some elaborate combos, such as: catapult leads to air cannon, then onto slippery slide, which ends at some deadly spikes. Master objectives are optional, yet they help gathering more stars, which in turn unlocks further stages to slice, dice, churn, and burn.

Back to the initial question: is this any fun? Well, that is something that heavily depends on the selected level. The best ones are those - few - that require a lot of thinking out of the box (both for graduated and master objectives), and the worst those where the solution is crystal clear, with the challenge simply being the correct placement of traps - a task that can be extremely tedious after a short while. By the way, when testing a certain trap layout, it's possible to fast-forward Splatt movement, but this currently doesn't work as it should, since this fast-forward feature is far from fast.

Upon encountering some rough edges here and there, it becomes pretty clear that this is a work-in-progress, albeit a decent one. In other words, even at its current state, it's obvious that this isn't a bad game - but it's also far from being great. For starters, it's a bit of a visual bore, with all levels looking quite similar and with nothing really standing out, and the same can be said about the sound department; not bad, just forgettable. Audio-visuals aren't why people play puzzlers, though, therefore, the biggest disappointment is the gameplay, which, while not bad or anything, can get a bit repetitive after 10 or so levels.

Screenshot for 101 Ways To Die on PC

Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, the Early Access version experienced here clearly shows that while 101 Ways to Die is miles away from being a badly made product, it lacks that extra something that could make it stand out amongst its competition. The concept is certainly fine, yet the execution is somewhat lacking, and, currently feels a bit chore-ish and repetitive, when it should be challenging and engaging. Hopefully, the whole thing will be re-tweaked a bit before its upcoming, full release this March.

Developer

Four Door Lemon

Publisher

Vision

Genre

Puzzle

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  n/a

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date None   North America release date None   Japan release date None   Australian release date None   

Comments

A really interesting game I own

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