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Death Squared review

 

 

One of my favorite puzzle games of all time from the last generation would have to be the Portal games, especially Portal 2. From the very funny and smartly written dialogue of GLaDOS and Wheatly and brain teasing portal puzzles to the addition of a co-op campaign made for a game that you and a friend could play for hours on end. So you would think that there would be clones of Portal 2 or games that are similar in nature to try to capitalize on Portal 2’s success. Sure there was Quantum Conundrum back in 2012, but other than that, there hasn’t been any other game that come close, at least in my opinion. Then there’s Death Squared, a quirky indie co-op puzzle game from SMG Studio.

 

Approved by Omicore

Comical interaction between Iris and David- One of the most endearing aspects of Portal 2, aside from the gameplay, was the interactions between the player aka Chell with GLaDOS and Wheatly. Every time when either had something to say, be it GLaDOS berating the player for trying to kill her in the first game, Wheatly’s bumbling attempts to act like am evil AI or GLaDOS lamenting being a potato, had me laughing hard. You don’t really get this kind of dynamic in most puzzle games since the main objective is for you to solve the puzzle and move on. In Death Squared we have David, a level 1 Omicore employee and Iris, an Omnicore AI test proctor. While not as deep or story driven as Portal 2, the banter between David (which is a nod to 2001 A Space Odyssey) and Iris had me chuckling as I completed each of the puzzles presented. I like how David seems to treat Iris as just another employee of the company instead of a highly advance AI that could (and would) turn on him. His simple mindset really plays well against’s Iris’s advance intellect.

Unique control scheme- Death Squared has some of the most unique control scheme that I’ve seen in a puzzle game. In the single player puzzles, you take control of two AIs, a red and a blue cube. The left analog stick moves the red cube while the right moves the blue cube, simple right? Sure, the is until you start advancing to more complex puzzles very early on. There will be times where if you move one of the cubes, a part of the current stage will move as well. Players will have to plan each move carefully least they get knocked off the field or blasted by a laser. I found this control scheme to be a nice change of pace from what previous puzzle games have put forth.

 

 

Co-Op in Story mode and Party mode- Having a friend sit beside you try to help you solve a puzzle is fun and all, but having them also play is even better. If you don’t want to solve the puzzles by yourself, you can enlist the help of a second player and tackle the puzzles together. Then there’s Party mode. Here you and three other friends each take control of an AI cube and attempt several puzzles together or foil each other in hilarious ways, by “accident” of course.

Does not compute

No online Co-Op- While its great seeing games embrace couch Co-Op once again, online multiplayer is still the best way to play with friends. As much fun it is to play Death Squared on the couch with friends, it would have been a good idea to have added some type of online multiplayer to the game.

Limited dialogue between Iris and David- As much as I enjoyed David’s and Iris’s interaction and banter with each other, it feels pretty short. David will say or comment on something and then Iris will say or comment about something and that’s it. I feel that the devs could have done more to flesh out both David and Iris. They could have added some backstory to the both of them or even go into more detail about the company they are working for.

 

With all of this thinking with squares, Death Squared turned out to be a pretty decent and fun puzzled game. It brought back the memories of GLaODS and Wheatly interacting with Chell in the form of David and Iris. The games unique control scheme has be confused at first but after a couple of puzzles I got the hang of it and is pretty intuitive and fresh for a puzzle game. The best part was that my friends were ble to join in on the fun thanks to the game having couch Co-Op. However as I mentioned before online multiplayer is much more convenient but sadly was not added in. Also it would have been nice if the dialogue between David and Iris was expanded or at least a more detailed backstory for the both of them. If you look past these missteps and are hungry for a Co-Op puzzle game, then give Death Squared a shot.

7.5/10

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