One of the games I had the pleasure of playing at PAX was Death Squared, a puzzle game where you control two cubes and try to get through various levels and challenges. This game stuck out in my mind when I came home and started to figure out what I was going to write about. The visuals are really bright and colorful and the game play feels like a cross between Portal, Super Meat Boy and Mario Party.
When I picked up the full version yesterday, I found that I didn’t want to put it down. I kept saying “Just one more stage. Okay, now just one more stage”. During the PAX East demo, I was thrown into a four player cooperative demo where three strangers and I had to work together to solve the puzzles and get our squares where they needed to be. Normally I would knock off points for no online Multiplayer, but once you play the 4 player co-op, you’ll see why you need to be in the same room. This game forced 4 complete strangers to communicate, work together and help each other, it was really a unique experience.
There are a few minor drawbacks to the game however, one being how the cubes can interact with their surroundings. During one of the puzzles, I had a cube collide with two objects that sent it flying in the air and land on the opposite side of the map. It was a puzzle that relied on square placement and movement, Once I killed my cube I was able to restart and complete the level. This happened on a few occasions, nothing game breaking, but a drawback nonetheless.
The story seems to be a slow burn and focuses on dialogue cues between an Engineer and his AI that oversee the Cubes to make sure they complete the level. The dialogue is what keeps you going in Death Squared, You want to know what information is next. The story makes itself as vague as it can as it slowly begins to take shape and reveal itself. Overall, this is an experience that feels fresh and fun while refusing to just hand you a win. I highly recommend that you pick up Death Squared on Xbox One. It’s also available on Steam, but you’ll want a controller for sure. All in all, this is a fun game to either play by yourself or with a group and worth the Twenty Dollar price tag.
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