App Reviewed on: iPad Pro 10.5
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Puzzlers come in all shapes and forms, and sometimes you'll stumble across a game that's as morbid as it is challenging. That's where Death Coming stands.
It's dark, humorous, clever, and really does make you think in ways you didn't expect to. Sure, you're killing people and reaping their souls, but you get a good chunk of strategy to play around with.
After an unfortunate accident, you start the game off dead as a doornail and rather than going off to the afterlife, you're given the chance to follow the Grim Reaper around as an apprentice. Scared of what lays beyond the unknown, you agree, and your strange experience begins.
It's your job to kill as many people as you can in each level. You have three particular targets to take out, but also an overall number of souls to harvest before you can move on to the next act.
Scythe to meet you
While that sounds easy peasy, Reapers can't just push humans into moving traffic, so you have to use your head and the environment around you to reach your goal. Hidden in each level will be a certain number of death traps and you'll have to figure out how to use them to your advantage.
There could be a rickety air conditioner hanging perilously by a thread, a case of explosives just begging to be pushed, or maybe even the top of an ancient statue teetering carelessly above a crowd of unsuspecting people. If Party Hard and Final Destination had a baby, Death Coming would be the result.
With an isometric view, you'll navigate the environment by dragging across the screen, tapping to select, and pinching to zoom in/out. The controls are easy and simple, allowing you to put all of your effort into thinking about your strategies.
There may be a select number of death traps throughout the level, but that doesn't mean every one of them will be successful. No, you've got to time things perfectly to get the result you want and that's much easier said than done.
The pixel art style is pretty, effective, and make the gory nature of the game slightly less macabre. However, the game's two major drawbacks are its repetition and its inability to undo moves.
While letting you undo every move would a bit silly and take away the general challenge you'll face in different areas, Death Coming could have benefitted from giving you limited uses of an 'undo' mechanic. This means you wouldn't have to restart the whole level if you realise you've messed up massively while testing out unknown death traps.
As the game progresses you also come face-to-face with flying angels – essentially holy police officers looking to stop you from massacring the unwitting humans – except, they're not very effective. If they catch you doing something naughty they take one of your three lives from you. Otherwise, they just flit about scanning the area and it's pretty easy to avoid them.
You can't escape the reaper
Despite its flaws, Death Coming is a seriously interesting puzzler that felt like it was missing something to make it great.
Will you have fun with it? Yes, absolutely. If you love the carefully planned strategic elements of Party Hard or the weirdly satisfying dark humour of Slayaway Camp, this will fit nicely into your library.