I’ve never claimed to be good at video games. In fact, I’ve come to embrace my simple ineptitude with joysticks, thumb pads, and sprites.
So this week I’m not entirely sure what to do with the game I’ve been playing. Must Die is a pretty simple platformer, in theory.
I say in theory because the game seems to be nefariously designed to kill your character in as many unexpected ways as possible.
And I understand this philosophy. I really do. The point is that you win by repeatedly dying to the various obstacles, and with each death you figure out some defining feature of the obstacle in order to, eventually, make your past it; only then you are faced with the next obstacle and the process begins again. It leverages the “learn through character death” aspect of video games to the extreme.
Like the video game version of “Live, Die, Repeat” (Please note that this was an ironic statement. Appreciate my irony! Appreciate it!).
But here’s the things with that type of game: the designers have to be very careful with their use cases.
Here’s an example. One of the first obstacles of the game is a ball that shoots out of a pit, killing the character as he tries to jump over the pit. This means that in order to pass this pit, the player has to trigger the ball before he tries to jump over the pit. But in Must Die, the only way to trigger the ball is get right up to the edge of the pit, which required me slowly creep up to the edge of the pit until I wasn’t entirely sure if I would fall in.
And this made it difficult for me to really get into the flow of the game, which greatly diminishes it’s appeal.
But as I said before, I’m certainly not the best at video games, and maybe this genre is simply not for me as a general rule. But regardless of any of these circumstances, Must Die is simply not for me.
Try it out and see for yourself though!