Dying To Win: Life Goes On

By Nathan Grayson on June 7th, 2013 at 8:00 pm.

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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.

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18 Comments »

  1. Wedge says:

    Yeah, this looks pretty bland compared to all the games we’ve seen that had you do stuff like work with existing clones of yourself. I’m not sure what there is to do here other than pile up corpses as platforms and weights, which seems a bit limited for making interesting puzzles.

    • erik2021 says:

      Hi! I’m part of the group working on Life Goes On. Thanks for the comment. We have more mechanics in development, and we will definitely be making an effort to show some more creative and clever puzzles in future versions.

  2. Xocrates says:

    You motherfuckers! I had the exact same idea last year and even worked on a prototype a while ago, as something to turn into a full lenght project :(

    Oh well… *crosses out from game idea file*

    • erik2021 says:

      It’s funny, when we started the project we thought we had something super unique. Over time we’ve discovered that other games have used similar ideas, but we are putting a lot of effort into doing our own unique take on the concept.

      • Xocrates says:

        Aye. I’ve had the same occur to me on other projects I’m involved with. But what can I say? Inspiration doesn’t come from a vaccum.

        The best of luck to you guys though. I really quite like the idea, I may even have to get the game just to see how you guys pulled it of :P

      • DrMcCoy says:

        The movie The Gamers: Dorkness Rising used the same idea in 2008 (“Hide behind the pile of dead bards”).

      • Nixitur says:

        Jesse Venbrux did something similar five years ago. It never really went anywhere and it’s not very good, but it’s what I first thought of when I saw a screenshot of this game.

  3. The Random One says:

    Now this is good difficulty adjustment. The worse at the game you are, the easier it gets as your corpses fill every spike-filled nook.

  4. bakerman says:

    Great trailer. The music was pretty much perfect.

  5. xsikal says:

    I like the idea behind this. Sort of a variation on the old D&D trope where you got your fellow party members killed, and then used their corpses to test for traps (I wasn’t the only one who did that, was I?), only you don’t need any party members, and you have a potentially infinite supply of corpses.

  6. KDR_11k says:

    There’s also a game called super pig where the blood from your messy deaths is the only thing that reveals the level geometry.

  7. Zaboomafoozarg says:

    Obligatory Life Goes On song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKHFUjNw70A

  8. Lemming says:

    I like the look of this

  9. HatsAlEsman says:

    Oh wow! I was at the sort-of-a-game-jam where this was first made! It definitely looked like the most complex and interesting thing there (as opposed to the game my group made, which although we frigging loved it, it mostly had a catchy name going on). Glad to see you guys have progressed so much! Hope you guys do well.

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