Playing Death Coming was like setting off a firework. Filled with anticipation and enthralled by the premise, intensely fun for a brief period, and afterwards left with a feeling somewhere between “is that all?” and “well that was fun.” In a game that could easily be re-named Final Destination Simulator, you are an assistant to Death himself and tasked with using mundane objects and crazy situations to murder dozens to hundreds of people per level. In all honesty, it got old shockingly fast.
The enjoyment fizzles out
The first two levels I thoroughly enjoyed, and could hear myself laughing out loud at some of the more ridiculous murder scenarios. You also pick up the controls and flow of the game very quickly. I always enjoy when I can get right to the meat of a game without feeling like I’m spending ages in a tutorial level. Halfway through each level, they up the difficulty factor by adding in some pesky angels as a little police force — apparently they aren’t happy with how well we are doing our job reaping souls. The first time this happened, and I heard the Hallelujah chorus to signal their arrival, it brought a smile to my face and a laugh to my lips. This changed when I realised it happened multiple times per level.
Every handful of deaths more angels descended upon the Earth making my job harder. They definitely served their purpose, let me tell you! By levels three and four, the game turns up the puzzle dynamic, introducing conditions like weather and timing to the scenarios, that effect how and when you can murder your targets. This started out as a great addition to the game and I loved the added challenge. In levels five and six though these puzzles started to include many more steps and I started to get frustrated. Now normally I enjoy puzzle games, but that is when I go into a game expecting them.
I picked up this game for my mind to take a load-off, get some fun and cheap laughs while murdering little characters in all sorts of silly ways. Once the puzzles became more elaborate and impeded my ability to do this, my desire to play the game through to the end became paper thin. With the expectations I held going into the game, I enjoyed the levels where it was more of an ‘I Spy’ activity to find all the unique death traps in a level and then trigger them at the precise time to maximise impact and victims. When it became a murderous puzzle game, I started to get bored and a little disappointed since that wasn’t the experience I was hoping to get from Death Coming.
It then stopped being as funny
The comedic element also seemed to disappear when the puzzles became the sole focus of my attention. I wasn’t appreciating how over the top and silly some of the scenarios were any more because I’d had to click on every potential thing in the game to find them. Once I had found out the correct sequence of events to trigger the deaths I wanted, I then had to wait for the exact conditions to come around again. For example, some death traps could only be triggered when it was raining, and you have to wait for the timer to cycle back to that condition with no way of triggering it yourself. So in the later levels I often found myself just staring at the timers waiting for the event I needed to happen, which is no one’s idea of fun I’m fairly certain.
Now add in waiting for these conditions with waiting for all the angels to get out of the bloody way! It felt like as soon as one event I was waiting for happened, then there was something else I was waiting for. It was like being in a doctor’s office waiting for your name to be called, and you know there are fun magazines or interesting reading material around to pass the time but everyone else in the room has taken them already.
I kept going to see what was awaiting me in Death Coming
However, I pushed through though because I wanted to see how far it went and what kinds of maps they churned out. Turns out, I didn’t need to go that far! The game literally has six levels and a few bonus levels where they use the mechanics in slightly different ways. That’s it. Only six levels!
I only played the game for about four and a half hours and played pretty much the whole thing. If you are a completionist and want to get the trophies associated with murdering every citizen per level and every death trap, then this game holds some replay value for you – or if you want to see your name on the online global ranking boards. I am definitely not one of those people, however, so I can tell you with certainty I will not be replaying this game.
There are some things it does well
Stylistically speaking, Zodiac Interactive has done a good job as Death Coming has a lot going for it. The 8-bit pixelated meets chibi style is fun and very suited to the game and controls – in terms of the areas covered by each death trap and you seeing that visually. The Reaper’s voice and appearance gave me vibes straight out of the Discworld series — which I love (anyone who gets that reference, ten awesome points for you and a shout-out to Terry Pratchett). The game soundtrack was a fun little mishmash of genres, spanning elevator music, to film noir, to jazz, to what I believe was excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker at one point! It always complimented the level and the absurdity of what was going on, and never seemed to feel repetitive or got on my nerves — despite most tracks only being 3-6 minutes and repeating throughout the level.
It’s a shame the whole game didn’t live up to the pretty, and good sounding presentation it has.
- Easy to Learn
- High Comedic Value
- Appealing Graphics/Visuals
- Lots of Waiting
- Not Many Levels
- Low Replay Value
Note: This game was provided by the publisher for the purposes of this review.