Have you ever wanted to reap souls on behalf of Death? Do you long to plot the deaths of hundreds? Are you a fan of cutesy puzzle games? If you answered yes to all three, what in the world is wrong with you? No matter the answer, you’ve found your new favourite Early Access title: Death Coming.
I should preface this with the fact that the developer, Next Studio, screwed up. They set the game to full release, instead of launching it into Early Access. So, you might be reading this and wondering why it’s a preview - well, that’s why. The game is technically released, but it’s not supposed to be.
After something kills you, you decide to lend Death a hand as a reaper, to try and earn your way back to the land of the living. So Death gives you a scythe and sends you to several locations to gather the souls of the living. Once you’ve killed them by creating “accidents”, that is.
Hey, that manhole cover looks like someone could fall down it… And it sure would be a shame if that barrel of oil spilt near those welders… Then that missile toppled over…
Each of the six environments present a variety of possibilities, although timing is everything. For instance, you can only get one target soul while he’s in the pool, and a group of victims wandering in and out of the power plants will run at the first hint of being electrocuted. Three levels also have changing weather, so you have to plan your deathtraps out ahead of time.
There are three grades for finishing a level; gold, silver and bronze. It is quite difficult to get silver, and gold is damn near impossible. Of course, people are going to prove me wrong and stick me near the bottom of the leaderboards, but I was the top I tell you!
The art style of the game definitely doesn’t bely the concept, with a cartoon style that wouldn’t look out of place in a Kairosoft game (Game Dev Story, Mega Mall Story, Home Run High, etc). Everybody is pretty cheery - until a lawnmower runs over someone - which is a lovely juxtaposition. Audio wise, the yelps from the victims and the gravelly muttering (think a dark Sims-speak) from Death all add to the ambience, though the music is a tad on the repetitive side.
The only negative thing I’ve noticed while playing Death Coming is that occasionally people won’t fall down open manhole covers, because they’re a pixel out of position. In all, the game is solid and fun, with plenty of replay value thanks to the leaderboards. It’s worth a look now, and definitely worth one when it’s on sale.