Behold The Death Inc. Gameplay Prototype

“Death Ink!” exclaimed my excitable friend, thinking my topic of conversation some kind of Grant Morrisonian meta-fictional idea where life and the black materials of printed word interweave. “No,” I said, “Death Inc.” And I explained that it was actually a light-hearted strategy and management thing about reapers, and the plague, and 17th century things, designed by people from Media Molecule, Lionhead, and Criterion. “Oh, well that still sounds interesting,” he decided. And yes, it did sound interesting when Ambient Studio’s Mr Hopper explained it to us, but the chat raised more questions about how such a game wouldy play, questions which the Ambienteers want to answer with their latest video of the game in action. See below for a look at the game’s prototype doing its infectious thing.

Death Inc. is currently in the midst of a Kickstarting.


  1. Hoaxfish says:

    It’s also treading amongst the steaming villages of ye olde Greenlight: link to

    They’ve been pretty on-point with updates, with 3 so far, including the gameplay video, and a comic: link to (just part 1 so far)

    • Llewyn says:

      Thank you for that, probably wouldn’t have spotted it on there without a pointer.

    • Koobazaur says:

      How ironic is that this game was announced at the exact same time as my own Postmortem game about Death with a very similar premise :| though it seems like this one has a very different purpose/gameplay than mine.

  2. DrAmateurScience says:

    Grr there have been a couple of really great kickstarters in the last few weeks – including this one – that I really want to back, but my current status as an amateur scientist precludes any investment.

    News soon on whether I’ll be able to change my tag to DrProfessionalScience and send some money in the direction of this and Unwritten: That which happened.

  3. wodin says:

    Looks cool..but I’m not sure how much gameplay is there to be honest..

    • Brise Bonbons says:

      I’m worried for the game’s sake about this “brushing” system. They seem very proud of it (and deservedly so), but as an avid RTS gamer I see it as sort of a Wiimote for unit management; novel and fun for a while, but in the end, impractical. I can only speak for myself, of course, but I’m simply not excited for it.

      Maybe today is extra crotchety, but I’m also disappointed that they’ve taken this complex historical scenario and seemingly boiled it down to a streamlined zombie RTS with physics puzzles. It was perhaps misguided of me, but in my head I’d envisioned it as a sort of lightweight disease spreading simulator; the player cast as an evil mastermind plotting to infect the populous, and then watching the effects of your plan spread across the map. Maybe I’m just in the terminal stages of zombie fatigue, but watching the little infected guys run around mauling healthy humans just killed my interest in this as something even remotely connected to the historical setting it is ostensible grounded in. Might as well just be a fantasy game about marauding undead armies led by Lich Kings.

      The art is lovely, though, and it does seem like it would be a fun diversion, even if I’m not really the target audience. Hopefully the Kickstarter starts, and they make a game that lives up to the potential in the idea.

      • JFS says:

        The brushing mechanic isn’t even new. My Nokia cellphone (which apparently is geared towards threshold country markets) has an enviro-educational game where one of the minigames is controlling ants that collect leaves. You gotta brush the touchscreen to leave a pheromone trail to make them go around in a sensible way. Of course, there’s no beautiful art and no medieval archers, but it’s the same underlying thing.

      • Hahaha says:

        Reminds me of pikmen and that game was fun

  4. jatan says:

    looks mighty dull

  5. Zenicetus says:

    That game mechanic reminds me a little of Overlord, where the player’s main interaction with the game world is steering your minions around with mouse gestures. It was fun for a while, but I didn’t manage to finish the first game, and never bought the second one.

    I think Death Inc. will need a lot of variety in your “army” to keep it interesting (Overlord had different colored minions with different abilities), and more than just a string of physics puzzles to complete missions. With the right atmosphere and depth to the gameplay, it could be a lot of fun. Too early to tell yet, obviously.

  6. cog says:

    “Grant Morrisonian meta-fictional idea where life and the black materials of printed word interweave. ”
    ^ See that up there, who’s making that?

  7. voorsk says:

    The amount of similarities to Wildfire Worlds is really distracting. Both pseudo-paper worlds, both about spreading something among the population..

    Hopefully they’ll have enough differences to warrant buying both, coz they both look quite cool. :)

  8. Snids says:

    I thought “Death Ink” was where you draw a picture of someone you want dead with the cursed death ink and put it through their door.

    The next day they will be dead.

    Because they have been murdered.

    By you.


  9. DonJefe says:

    It seems like it made more sense when this was a zombie game. People infected with the plague aren’t particular prone to beating people up in an effort to give them plague as well, do they?

    • Chuckaluphagus says:

      Actually, during the Black Death in Europe it was not uncommon for infected individuals to attack and try and deliberately infect the uninfected. People truly believed it was the end of the world, and some went nuts and started doing awful things.