Death Squared – Review

One of the main selling points of the Nintendo Switch is its portability. You can have it docked at home and play games on that beautiful screen of yours or take it on the go. The release of Death Squared on the console perfectly nails both of these options. You can sit at home and have some fun with friends trying to go through this cooperative puzzle game on your couch or take it with you on the road and detach the Joy con controllers to enjoy these puzzles on the road. When I first started up Death Squared I was instantly reminded a little bit of Portal. The reason for that being is the relationship between Dave and the artificial intelligence he frequently interacts with.

In Death Squared the puzzles that you are trying to solve can be quite deadly. One wrong move on the controller and one of your blocks can tumble over the side and then you have to start over. If you are playing solo then each analog stick represents one of the blocks. For me the right analog stick represented the blue block in the game and the left stick represented the red block. Of course if you are playing with friends each of you will control one block. There are 80 different puzzles for you to solve with each one getting increasingly more difficult. There are a number of different environmental hazards that can get in your way too. As you progress through each puzzle your actions might have consequences. For example, if you are controlling the blue block and you move it over to a switch (no pun intended) then that might have solved a problem you were having but spikes might have gone up on the floor somewhere else, creating a new problem. There are also other puzzles involving lasers and you want to be able to direct that laser in the right direction at the right time so it doesn’t incinerate your blocks. Then of course there are blocks that go up and down and a variety of other challenges. This isn’t really a game you want to rush through. A lot of these puzzles are going to require you to try and plan things out ahead of time and then move with caution in case something unexpected turns up. It adds a nice level of challenge to the game and I definitely had a blast trying to figure out what the order of operations was supposed to be on some of those puzzles. The back and forth between your character David and Iris (the A.I.) is also a nice touch which definitely had me chuckling.

As I mentioned up above there are 80 puzzles for you to work through during the “campaign” of the game. If you get through all of those puzzles and want something more than there are a couple of different options for you. The first one is the Party mode. What this mode does is double the amount of blocks on the screen and present you with forty more stages to work through. Party mode can also be played solo with it being your responsibility to now control four blocks and have them all reach their goal but it is more fun if you play with friends. You will definitely need to work well together to get past all of the obstacles that are placed in your way. Your friend might have to move over one block to the left to open up a space for another block to fit through on the other end or perhaps the yellow block might need to find its way to its colored marker before the blue one is able to proceed and head to where it needs to be. Some of these puzzles will definitely give your brain a workout. If you like puzzle games though it is a tremendous amount of fun. There is also the vault mode that you can go through. The vault mode gives you more two and four player levels. It seems like these levels could almost be the “deleted scenes” of the game so be sure to check these out as well.

Death Squared is a fun puzzle game that can be played solo or with friends. Playing it with friends is definitely a bit more fun with all of the crazy things that are bound to happen but there is also something really satisfying about solving a puzzle by yourself and then moving on to the next challenge. There is a tremendous amount of content here for you to work through, over 120 puzzles. Some of those puzzles will definitely make you scratch your head for a moment as you go through the trial and error process that this game demands. You will die in this game a lot so just learn from your mistakes and adjust your strategy accordingly. Death Squared is a great addition to the Nintendo Switch library and I’m happy that I can take it pretty much anywhere and get my puzzle fix whenever I feel like it. Be sure to give this title a chance.

Score: 8/10
Originally posted on Gaming Target

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