REVIEW / Death Squared

A challenging but brilliant party puzzler.

Death Squared is a logically challenging puzzle game that requires you really think outside the box if you want progress through it simplistic-but well design levels. The easy to pick up gameplay and progressively challenging puzzles provide an addictiveness to succeed. The single player campaign offers solo players a respectable amount of content to play through, but Death Squared is most definitely at it’s best when playing with friends.

The single player campaign requires you to control two block simultaneously, one linked to each analog stick. Although this sound simple, and in the early stages it doesn’t prove to be too much of a challenge, once you pass around level 20 you’ll soon find your left and right thumbs challenging how your brain breaks down each puzzle. The concept to compete each puzzle is also very simple, navigate the coloured boxes to their matching tiles; however, with spikes, lasers and tarp doors often being triggered by other boxes this soon proves to be a lot more of a challenge that it first appears. Its the progressive introduction of these different mechanics that always makes each puzzle feel achievable, even through you will inevitably fail at times in the process of trying.

The 80 levels the single player campaign provides around 4-5 hours of gameplay, obviously this depends on how quickly you solve each level. One thing I found really surprising while playing through the single-player campaign is the genuinely funny conversations between a company employee called David and a computer AI named Iris. This is not a commentary to your gameplay, however, sometimes they do cleverly link in with different gameplay mechanics or choices you make within the level.

There’s no denying the single player aspect of Death Squared is enjoyable and challenging, but it’s not where the games true strength really lye, it’s the games 4-player party mode that steels the show here. From the first level to the fortieth, team work is pivotal to succeed. Just to try the party mode out I invited some friend over, expecting to play the game only for an hours or so, however the addictive must-pass-this-puzzle gameplay proved too much and we ended up sinking 4 hours into the game, everyone as enjoyable as the last.

Death Squared is a cleaver and well-designed puzzle game. The single player campaign provides a continuous and substantial challenge as you progress through its 80 puzzles; however, it’s Deaths Squared’s 4-player party mode that provides not only the biggest challenge, but also the most fun as navigating through the variety of puzzles is most enjoyable when with your friends.