Hey gang, Valkor here. 2D platformers are some of my favorite games to play; I guess it's due to the fact that I grew up in the Nintendo/Genesis days when that’s all the two systems pretty much had to offer (besides the sports, RPGs, puzzles, you get the idea). So whenever opportunities to play one, especially in this day and age, presents itself in either review form or my personal pleasure, I’m usually all over it. Enter the latest title to come across my desk – "Life Goes On: Done to Death", for the Playstation 4. And it is one of the wackiest, 2D puzzle/platformers I’ve had the chance to experience.
In “Life Goes On: Done to Death”, you play as a series of knights in an attempt to make it across a screen of obstacles to reach your objective – the cup of life. You start out as a single knight but the twist is, sometimes you’ll have to sacrifice a knight in order to progress - and there are plenty of obstacles that'll impede your path. Thankfully you have plenty of knights at your disposal to help you through it all. Is there a bed of spikes in your way? Drop a knight and use him as a platform. There’s a button out of reach? Just shoot your knight out of a cannon, which in turn, his body will be used as a depressor. And it’s all done in a comedic fashion with zero gore, but it’s also kind of sad that you have to use one of your buddies to progress, but the needs of the king outweigh the needs of a knight who must sacrifice his life. And the king wants his cup! There are four chapters to play through with a series of zones you must surpass in order to find "The Cup of Life". Only when you reach your goal, you find out that it’s not THE cup you were seeking (sounds very Mario-esque). The game starts out easy enough, but as you progress, things become more complicated and will require some serious thought in order to make it to your goal. Finally, when you complete a stage, you’re given cosmetic gifts such as helmets and silly weapons that your knights will wear. The items don’t really serve a purpose as far as I can tell, so I never think about it, and I'll just play forward.
If things get too complex or you feel you’re stuck, you’re able to start the stage over; this also works if you’re looking to complete the stage at the lowest time possible, or use fewer knights, as once you’ve figured out how to beat it, playing through it again would be easier. And I can’t forget Jeff, who is usually in the most out of the way places. But once you reach him… well, you’ll see when you play. And Play you should, as I’ll tell you why in the TOV Breakdown.
“Life Goes On: Done to Death”, is a simple yet wacky 2D puzzle/platformer that’s somewhat morbid, yet highly entertaining. Dropping knights just to reach an end goal has never been so much fun, as there’s plenty of ways to die to aid your knight buddies, but playing through the title, I never felt turned off by the experience. The controls are also simple as you only need to use your analog controls for movement and one button for jumping (or calling up the next knight to slaughter). The challenge level of the puzzles ranges from simple logic to complex and being precise, especially when you're dealing with those mobile checkpoints. But they're never "toss your controller" frustrating. Or I haven't reached that level of frustration yet. Graphically, the game looks cartoony, yet gorgeous, with lots of detail, strong colors, and smooth animation. The music is whimsical and I’ll give the gang at Infinite Monkeys “creep points” for making it so that the knight’s "death wails" are heard through the controller. If you don’t check the options before you start playing, it will freak you out when it happens (I can attest to that). In the end, “Life Goes On: Done to Death”, is a simple yet refreshing and also challenging puzzle/platformer that’s very addictive and loads of fun. Great job Infinite Monkeys!
The one thing I don’t really care for about the game is the rewards. Again, they don’t offer anything other than cosmetics, so that’s meaningless to me, considering the facts that the knights only real objective, other than to retrieve that cup, is to die. So seeing them decked out in my “rewards” are moot. Give me something like levitation, ghosting, or super leaps, something other than a new hat or silly weapon.
"Life Goes On: Done to Death” is available now on the Playstation 4 as well as the STEAM platform; and if you’re looking for a change of pace, with a taste of the morbid, then you should definitely give this one a try. I’m having a lot of fun with the title and I think you guys will enjoy it as well. And out of TOV 5 stars, I’m giving “Life Goes On” a 4.