What’s the most hilariously twisted way you can kill someone? Now you can find out in upcoming videogame 101 Ways To Die.
When I first read the brief of upcoming platformer PC videogame 101 Ways To Die, from Bradford-based Four Door Lemon, I instantly thought of the horror film series SAW. Though there are distinct similarities, this effort is much more fun in nature with its story of mad scientist Dr Splatunfuder who dedicated his life to researching 101 ways to maim and kill others. When his laboratory is destroyed in an explosion, you are drafted in to help the scientist rediscover each and every single one of those 101 ways to fill his ‘death recipe’ book.
Whilst the game could have certainly gone down a Manhunt route, torturing human characters, 101 Ways To Die prefers to use its laboratory grown Franken-Splatts – little creatures who resemble the human form and make ideal guinea pigs to test out your booby-trapped layouts.
The game arms the player with a select choice of traps from slippery slime to explosive mines to place anywhere you deem fit to cause maximum damage to the Splatts. When happy with the layout of the booby-trapped level, the Splatts can be deployed to see how well your strategic placement works. Each splat will arrive on the level at the green tap and will aim for the red tap exit so you have a rough idea of the path they will navigate and should they come across any platforms they can leap across, they will, so that there in itself is an ideal opportunity to place a patch of slime to help ‘nature’ take its course.
Having a little play through the game for this preview piece, I surprised myself with my thirst for death as I sought to move my booby-traps for maximum effect. Whilst the main aim of the game is to kill the Splatts, there’s bonus objectives if you kill them in a certain way by causing a chain reaction such as blasting a Splatt off a bumper into the line of fire of a harpoon before being impaled on a wall of spikes. Sounds sadistic? You’ll never realise how fun it is unless you play it yourself.
The game itself is really simple to get into with a three level optional tutorial to help you understand the concept of the game and how it works. It’s very quick and easy to understand and you’ll be planning your executions in no time at all. The key with the game is to be as deadly flamboyant as you can to cause the most devastation. With your kill rated out of three stars, you’ll want to get 2 or more in order to be able to unlock the next levels.
101 Ways To Die is currently a work in progress with players able to get their (soon-to-bloody) hands on the game in March, when it hits Steam on the 22nd, PlayStation® 4 on the 23rd and Xbox One on 24th. The ability to easily retry levels, especially when you’ve failed to kill your Splatts, is very handy with the added bonus of being able to watch and revel in your handiwork should you have executed your Splatts in style. The graphics I’ve seen so far are very good with varied backdrops and fun-to-watch death animations whilst the game controls rely on the use of keyboard and mouse for PC.
Horror fans like myself will have loads of fun with this game as it puts you in the shoes of the antagonist. It’s also a game that doesn’t require a set amount of dedicated playing time either meaning you can drop in and out whenever you feel like, be it for a quick 10 minute game or hour plus. The simple controls and mechanics of the game means you won’t really need to refresh your memory either but if you do, the tutorials with handy tip boxes are just a click away.
Now excuse me whilst I go concoct a devilish death trap for my little minions…