Don’t Cheer The Reaper: Death Inc.

Death Inc. is a marvellous, horrible, brilliant, horrible idea. It’s this: “Guide Grim T. Livingstone, freelance reaper, through 1660’s England spreading fear, pestilence and most importantly, the bubonic plague.” You play a reaper in a cartoon 17th century, and your job is to harvest… people. Horrible, eh? But it looks so cute! Death Inc. is currently being developed by a team of former Lionhead, Media Molecule and Criterion devs – called Ambient Studios – and their mission is to create a “streamlined strategy, with no micromanagement or complex menus.” Their first game boasts a bunch of intriguing ideas, including the idea of “painting” your commands: “Paint with pestilence: Create routes to travel, areas to defend and flanking manoeuvres with simple mouse strokes.”

We’ve contact ambient for more information, because we suspect we’re going to want to keep a close eye on this one.


  1. eartsidi says:

    like Laura answered I’m blown away that any one able to profit $9377 in one month on the internet. did you read this page

  2. Berzee says:

    Too soon.

  3. RedViv says:

    That sounds rather Galcon-ish to me.

  4. razorramone says:

    “streamlined strategy” – has there ever been a game calling itself this which has turned out well? The whole fun of strategy is the depth and breadth it offers.

    • RedViv says:

      Accessibility does not necessitate simplicity.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      I’m hoping it’s less boring than Tower Defense “strategy”. The game looks lovely.

    • Chris D says:

      Seeing how you asked there’s Swords and Soldiers, Atom Zombie Smasher, XCOM(new version), Unity of Command and we haven’t even started on board games yet.

      I love a good in depth strategy game too but easily the most common cause of death in the genre is collapsing under it’s own bloated weight. Sometime less is more. More is sometimes more too but if you’re going down that path you need to be really good or really lucky to get away with it.

    • Tiax says:

      DEFCON and Multiwinia would like a word with you…

    • Zenicetus says:

      Sid Meier’s Pirates!, Spore (flawed but still some neat ideas), and Darwinia, to name a few.

      I’m a fan of deep strategy games too, but there’s room for more than one approach to strategy games. Especially when the theme is fairly light-hearted like Pirates!… and possibly this one also, based on the graphics and potential comedy in the idea.

    • Berzee says:

      Sir, I think people chose to disregard the “calling itself” bit of your post (it might apply to some of the crushing counterexamples that were supplied, but I suspect it was not considered).

      • Chris D says:

        I may be wrong but isnt Razorramone’s point that being streamlined isn’t something games should aspire to but embrace theircomplexity instead? In which case it’s not particularly significant whether a game is actually streamlined or merely describes itself as such. Both require an intent on the part of the designers that he would disagree with.

  5. Hoaxfish says:

    link to

    Ambient Studios plan to launch a Kickstarter for Death Inc on February 4th.

  6. wodin says:

    looks fun..

  7. FurryLippedSquid says:

    Love the sound of this.

    It’s got me all nostalgic for Ecstatica for some reason…

  8. webwielder says:

    >We’ve contact ambient for more information


  9. Kefren says:

    Is the title a reference to a PWEI song on their last album, Dos Dedos?

    • Lambchops says:

      Nope (I say with hopefully not misplaced confidence!). It’s this absolutely amazing tune (which I loved playing in Rock Band, even though my drumming friend hated the change in time signature!) :

      I clicked on the article because of the reference and stayed because the game looks rather lovely. Though it could perhaps do with more cowbell.

      • webwielder says:

        I guess people make Don’t Fear the Reaper references a lot more in the USA…

        • Lambchops says:

          I wouldn’t know being from the UK. I just really like the song and remembered last minute there’s a sketch about it!

      • Kefren says:

        Ah, of course, I know that song from Rock Band as well, it is great. I play Rock Band regularly with friends!

  10. 2helix4u says:

    So… its Plague Inc. but 3d?

    • Xzi says:

      It doesn’t sound much like Plague Inc at all. Which is too bad, because I’d love to see a fully rendered version of that game, in which you can zoom into regions or even cities and have stuff to do, as well as watch people puke their guts out.

  11. luckystriker says:

    Their homepage was irresistibly cute to me. It was almost tomb much.

  12. Harlander says:

    Getting a similar vibe to that game where a cutesy papercraft London is swept up in a cutesy papercraft welter of destruction and chaos in riots – the name of which I can’t place right now

  13. RogB says:

    tilt shift FTW

  14. lordcooper says:

    This looks pretty interesting,

  15. SuicideKing says:

    Looks like Jim Rossignol is a Blue Oyster Cult fan.