By Nathan Grayson on June 7th, 2013 at 8:00 pm.
Everyone, I’m worried that The Swapper changed me. I’ve seen the pale, twisted face of my own death, and I now have no issue solving puzzles with it. When RPS is run entirely by soulless clone husks who use each other’s icy bodies to do things like reach high shelves and prop open the front door, remember where this all began. Also, remember where it continued: Life Goes On. The still very much in development puzzler cuts out the middleman – aka, that whole “living” part – and sees you use mounting piles of your own corpses to avoid obstacles like spike pits, fire, and endless abysses. It’s also fairly humorous if you’re a sunken-eyed monster like me. You can play a demo here, and there’s a trailer after the break.
I played through the medieval hop-’til-you-drop-(dead)’s demo and found it to be entertainingly clever, but definitely rough-around-the-edges. For one, the controls felt way too floaty and imprecise, though keyboards are never an optimal way to control these sorts of things.
More pressing, meanwhile, was the lack of puzzle variety. The selection on show was solid, but I was never able to shake the feeling that I was only solving slight variations on the same core idea. Don’t get me wrong: I chuckled when the game made me use a set of my own spike perforated bodies as stepping stones or ledges, but I didn’t get to do much else particularly unique or inventive. Just switches and conveyor belts. Puzzle-solving 101. Also, every puzzle had an optimal solution (both in terms of time taken and bodies used), but they were pretty easy to figure out via trial-and-error.
Life Goes On’s concept is fantastic, but right now its execution (GEDDIT) feels, well, kinda lifeless (GEDDIT EVEN MORE). I saw a spark of creativity, but it needs more room to breathe before it grows into a flame. I’ve got high hopes, though. Or at least, as much hope as it’s possible to have as RPS’ resident corpse lord and master of depressing subject matters, anyway.