- + Your first kill comes with a satisfying splat
- - Controls are clunky
- - Level design is uninspired and linear
- - Splatts look generic
Want to look beyond the score? Check out the full review below…
Start Replay: “Failed Experiment”
I love orchestrating the deaths of helpless creatures. In fact, Lemmings was one of my favourite childhood games, and while 101 Ways to Die certainly draws some parallels with the tiny blue and green critters, it doesn’t come close to matching their nostalgic value.
An evil professor has spent a lifetime researching and developing a twisted book, full of different ways to die. He’s been testing these methods on lab-created creatures called Splatts, but an unfortunate incident leads to the professor’s work being destroyed. It’s the players job to recreate all 101 methods of killing; using a myriad of equipment through time-based tactical gameplay. Similarly to Lemmings, the placement of your items will either result in a successful experiment, or a failed one.
101 Ways to Die sounds fun on paper, but in reality it really isn’t. The fifty-plus set of levels all feature linear design which doesn’t help facilitate a lot of creativity. In each room you’re given a set of tools to ensure that each Splatt generated doesn’t reach its designation. However, the bland level design and clunky control system quickly deflate an experience that should be an addictive bundle of fun.
Kitting out a room requires a lot of trial and error. Once Splatts are unleashed, the speed can be increased but there’s not a quick-button restart. It’s working against itself to provide a quick and easy approach to gameplay. It’s a one-sided set of boring levels that showcase a few seconds of funny animation – but it’s only worth a chuckle for the first round or two.
Dispatching of Splatts was described as being imaginative, though forcing them to stick into spikes or making them explode can only bring so much variation. The generic design of each Splatt doesn’t elevate the excitement, and I think going all-out for colourful, exploding squids would have proved a much better affair. Adding a level editor would have spiced things up a bit, plus a multiplayer component wouldn’t have been a bad idea, trouble is, I don’t think it could have saved this problematic title.
This game should be fun, but it isn’t. The Splatts don’t even compare to the likes of Worms or Lemmings, instead they deserve to remain in a mad scientist’s lab; hidden away from sight, and out of mind.