Death Coming Review – Nintendo Switch

Developed By: NEXT Studios

Published By: Zodiac Interactive

Reviewed By: Tyler Higgs

Thank you so much to Zodiac Interactive for providing a review code.

Have you ever wanted to work along side Death himself and send hundreds of people to there untimely demise? If you answered yes, I’m genuinely concerned about your well-being… In all seriousness if you’ve had the strange urge to cause mischief then you may want to check out this little called Death Coming

Story

Death coming is a 2D puzzle, strategy game that tasks you as one of Death’s “agents”. You died and are now a reaper who’s goal is to kill people. The problem is there’s a “free will clause” in place which means you can’t just simply kill people yourself. No, instead you have to use the environment around you to send these poor unsuspecting victims to their final resting place. There’s not a huge emphasis on story, but there’s little events that go on in each of the games acts and they provide some funny moments. Honestly for a game about murder its got a pretty lighthearted and comedic tone. I really enjoyed its story found myself often laughing at the games ridiculousness.

Gameplay

Each level is a new act that the game takes place in. There are 6 acts in total and your goal in each of the acts is to kill a certain number of people. It’s possible to obtain a bronze, silver, or gold trophy in every level based on the amount of people you take out. You’ll need at least a bronze trophy to move on to the next act, and while it may take you some time at first they become pretty easy to obtain after you’ve done the first two levels. Now it’s not just as simple as killing everybody you see. You also have three main targets in every level that must be taken out. If you still haven’t found a way to off one of the 3 mandatory targets you will not be able to progress to the next act. So by now I’m sure you’re wondering how do you kill people? Well I’m glad you asked

To kill your targets you’ll have to make use of the many objects around you. The maps are usually quite big and have a ton of “Death Traps” you can use to kill people with. These “Death Traps” can be as simple as opening a manhole while someone’s walking by, or dropping a coconut on their head, or even turning a crashing hot air balloon into a giant snowball and rolling it down a hill trampling 10’s of hockey players. I know they’re pretty elaborate traps, but they’re effective and creative. The completely zany Death Traps are really what make Death Coming enjoyable. It’s hilarious to see the ideas the developers came up with to kill all these little pixel people (I hope this doesn’t make sound crazy).

One thing you have to be careful of is being too carefree with how you use your Death Traps. Some people will only walk in one specific path. That means that you may only have one Death Trap you can kill them with. There’s a lot of them that aren’t reusable so if you miss your chance it’s going to be impossible to get the gold rank on that attempt. Another aspect to make things a bit more difficult are the angels that come down. In each act after you kill a certain amount of people angels will start patrolling the area. If you have a Death Trap highlighted and an angel catches you you’ll lose a heart. Lose all 3 of your hearts and you’ll have to restart the level.

Death Coming is an overall pretty fun time, but it does suffer a bit from its mobile roots. Having the three tier levels and the heart system makes it all feel a bit too much like a mobile title. In addition to its mechanics, it’s original release On IOS and Android also cement those mobile roots. I know this may turn away some people, but it really shouldn’t. Death Coming is a great game that I think is better as an actual console game with all of its content than a mobile game you have to pay per level. It isn’t overly long if you only want to complete each level, but if you want the gold on each one you’ll probably spend 3-4 hours doing so. This definitely isn’t a title for everyone as more veteran strategy game fans probably won’t enjoy Death Coming. Overall it makes a good transition from mobile to Nintendo Switch.

Extras

There’s still some incentive to playthrough levels even after getting a gold trophy. First you have achievements for completing certain milestones in every level. There’s also a global Leaderboard that’ll rank the score you get in each act. Getting combo kills and such give you better scores and higher ranks on the Leaderboard. It’s always nice to have something to keep people coming back and trying to do better. If you’re interested in diverging a bit from the already establish gameplay there’s also a bonus mode that acts as a tower defense style game where you fling weapons at angels. It’s a decent little addition for anyone who likes little bonus games.

Presentation

Death coming has a colorful 2D world that looks fantastic. The models are bright and fun, and there’s plenty of different things to see. Every act is completely unique and has its own characteristics. I never worried too much with having to redo a specific act, because they were so nice to look at. Everything looks fantastic on the big screen and in handheld mode. The Soundtrack wasn’t anything special, but it went well with the game’s tone.

Technical Issues

There were no serious technical issue with Death Coming, but there were a few noticeable issues. Resolution was good in handheld and docked mode so there was no problem there. Frame rate on the other hand was a bit spotty, in a few situations. After using a big Death Trap that caused an event to happen the frame rate could be rough. It wasn’t a regular occurrence, but it happened once or twice per act. The controls are also not the best in docked mode, and are really more suited for handheld modes touch screen.

Summary

Becoming one of Death’s right hand man’s ended up being really fun. There’s plenty of reasons to keep playing after you have finished each level, whether it’s getting a perfect score or ranking higher on the Leaderboard. Each act is really unique and colorful and they’re a joy to play through. Death comings more casual gameplay and poor docked controls may cause some people to shy away from it, but this is a great game to play in short bursts. I enjoyed my time with Death coming and with a reasonable price tag on it, I think there’s some fun times to be had. Here’s to dropping vending machines on random civilians!

8/10

Pros

  • Fun Gameplay
  • Weird & Enjoyable Story
  • Nice Colorful Visual Design
  • Plenty of Different Ways to Reap Souls
  • Leaderboard & Achievements
  • Fair Amount of Content for the Price

Cons

  • Poor Docked Controls
  • Small Frame Rate Issues
  • Probably Not As Enjoyable for Seasoned Strategy Game Fans
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