A Timely Death Is Wise: Soul Brother

By Alec Meer on April 22nd, 2011 at 4:53 pm.

Kill it! Kill it!

I would make a gag about a game concerning resurrection being entirely relevant today, but someone religious will probably come and shout at me if I do. So I won’t. Superflat Games’ Soul Brother is another one of those delightfully crazy webgame gems which regularly pitch up on Adult Swim’s site, and is perhaps best described as a 16-bit platform game about strategic suicide.

When you die, your soul jumps to the nearest host so that you can continue. I guess Kirby is probably a good touchstone, in that each type of host has different powers – the cat can double-jump, the bird can fly, the sort of worm/rodent thing can fit into small spaces. So dying is actively encouraged; necessary even, as you’ll need specific abilities to make it through the level.

It’s smart, offbeat and charming with an agreeable soundtrack, and wastes no time in getting mildly tricky. I liked it a lot, even though it involves making a cat repeatedly plunge to its death – something I spent two hours nervously trying to prevent yesterday, when my cat climbed out the window and got itself stranded on a ledge three houses down the street. Stupid bloody animals.

Soul Brother, however: not stupid, and nor is it bloody, despite all the death. Good stuff.

Via Hello Games’ Twitter, which I shall link to even though we hate them to death because they won’t release Joe Danger on PC.

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29 Comments »

  1. nayon says:

    Sounds like an 80′s funk band.

  2. nayon says:

    Sounds a lot like that Cactus game called Psychosomnium.

  3. RobF says:

    Every day is a good day to play Soul Brother. It’s happy gaming. More happy gaming, please.

  4. terry says:

    It’s very fun and reminds me of some Amiga game where you transferred your skills between strange blobs. That is all!

  5. JonasKyratzes says:

    This game is great fun, and I adore the graphics.

  6. magnus says:

    ‘but someone religious will probably come and shout at me if I do.’ Let them, they’ll always find an excuse!

    • BarneyL says:

      Just as the anti religious will find an excuse to accuse them of doing it even when they haven’t…

    • BAReFOOt says:

      And just to be fair to everybody: Religion is a form of schizophrenia, and therefore a mental illness.
      A type of mental illness, where people reject the real world, and instead of building their inner predictive model of rules on observation, try to explain the events of the outer world based on a delusional made-up inner model. Example:

      Proverbs 3:5—”Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”

      And because our inner model is our reality to us brain havers, they of course want to annihilate everything that creates a conflict with that model. Otherwise their reality would break down. Which is equivalent to the end of their existence. But often they can’t explain it away any more. Then they start to get aggressive, because they start to panic, and want to remove that mind-thorn.

      So while we should help the infected ones to get healthy again (which only works by offering them a nicer reality that can be made compatible with their current inner model), it is also normal to assume they rather attack us than to adapt their inner model, and we should never ever let them enforce their delusional reality on us.

    • Thants says:

      We’re all trying to understand reality based on our delusional made-up inner models, give em a break. And I think you may have watched The Matrix one too many times.

  7. tomeoftom says:

    Obligatory Karoshi mention

  8. Brumisator says:

    I’m gooving to the tune!

    Aaaawww yeeeeaaahh!

  9. PleasingFungus says:

    An extremely lovely game.

    Here’s a launch day perfect playthrough, by the notorious Ortoslon.

  10. Balm says:

    Reminds me of two NES games i used to have, “Little Nemo: The Dream Master” and some other one about pink shapeshifting alien wich name i don’t remember.

  11. Berzee says:

    Dear Sir,
    I reserve the right to shout at you whatever you do, independent of my religious affiliation.

    • BAReFOOt says:

      And we reserve the right to hit you with a giant squeaky blow-up hammer whenever we feel like it. :P

  12. Benga says:

    Same site “house of Dead Ninjas is great fun!

  13. Wulf says:

    I will have to play this when my time isn’t consumed by a billion other things! It looks very interesting indeed.

  14. edwardoka says:

    The core concept reminds me a little bit of a classic old Master System game called Wonder Boy 3 The Dragon’s Trap, except instead of being reincarnated, you transmogrified into different creatures with differing abilities and weaknesses.

  15. Saldek says:

    Could learn a lot from this one. No longer will my suicides need to be random haphazard affairs. Now, excuse me while I somersault out of the window.

  16. stahlwerk says:

    maybe my threshold for frustration is lower than usual today, but in my opinion the difficulty curve took a sharp upturn in the “cloud” levels

    • geldonyetich says:

      Hell platformer game is hellish. I gave up after failed reincarnation #101. Kobayashi’s Unfriendly Adventure did me in. That said, I can’t very well malign them for creating that type of game as it does interest some players. There’s people who actually played through the entirety of I Want To Be A Guy, a feat almost as awesome as it is masochistic.

      That said, the other notable thing about Soul Brother is its unique style, a sort of an ironic hippie mysticism thing going on.

  17. Ginhyun says:

    I was enjoying the game, but then I got stuck in a glitched endless death cycle at 30/33 gems.

  18. Davie says:

    I was rather sad when I found out this game did not feature a smooth-talking African-American man with a Hendrix fro channeling Sam Jackson. This is what the title brings to mind.

    I want that man as my protagonist.

  19. aerozol says:

    Sweet Soul Brothaa (JSRF) flashback