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Sometimes You Die Review

By , on March 28, 2014


Sometimes You Die
Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5

PROS

  • An entertaining platformer
  • Attractive art design
  • Asks you to think about more than just the on-screen puzzles

CONS

  • Simple puzzles for much of the game present little challenge
  • Enjoyment will be dependent on how much you likehaving your expectations defied

VERDICT

Sometimes You Die has you pondering more than just its platform puzzles. Its appeal will depend on whether you like platformers with underling themes of existential crisis.


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  • App Store Info
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Describing Sometimes You Die is surprisingly tough. Reducing it to its mechanical elements does the concept a disservice. However, recounting journey runs the risk of ruining the various twists and meta-commentaries contained within it.

It asks you to think about what a game is, what you consider fun, and what you are prepared to endure in the name of entertainment. That may sound pretentious - and at its heart Sometimes You Die is just that - but it is none the worse for it.

Mechanically it is a simple platformer. You move a black square left or right through a series of single screen areas to reach the exit. If you die - by hitting a cluster of spikes, for example - you leave corpses of your failure onscreen. This allows you to create makeshift platforms out of your former incarnations to help solve each puzzle.

You can attempt to die accurately, impaling yourself on a spike, and then respawning and leaping off the platform your corspe creates. Alternatively, you can use a blunt force approach, killing  yourself time again until the mound of dead forms a climbable hill.

As you move through the monochrome screens, you'll notice lines of text in the background. These offer some insight into what the developer was thinking during the design process. As you progress further, these thoughts start to question you directly, querying why you are playing and what you are willing to put up with.

Sometimes You Die is not, at first, difficult. The ways in which the death mechanic is employed means that most puzzles can be overcome with a little patience. It was only when we found ourselves at the end to the game, after an entertaining but short 15 minutes, that we discovered a whole new world of problems and challenges.

While Sometimes You Die offers entertaining puzzles, it's the questions it poses - and how it manipulates expectations - that are the real draw. To fully explain these would be to ruin what the game has in store. However, we can say it's certainly worth a look if you want a platformer that tests your perceptions as much as your reflexes.

Screenshots

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