Death Squared is a cooperative puzzle game created by Australian developer SMG studios.
Players are faced with 80 hair pulling puzzles that will stress even the most confident of gamers. Control two color coded robots whose goal is to reach a color matching goal, navigating through treacherous puzzles and traps along the way.
You will do all this while enjoying the pleasant banter between an A.I. IRIS and David, the technician assigned to the project that is death squared for the mysterious company Omnicorp. Their conversations keep me wanting to listen to the game rather than throwing some music on in the background, something I have had to do with other games I’ve played. The characters banter seems influenced by Portal, keeping a good humor about the game.
One thing is certain, you will die, a lot. Explode, be impaled, lasered and more as you must learn from your mistakes to complete each level. The game has two and four player modes, with more levels available in party mode, adding two more robots to the equation. It is safe to say party mode should be called chaos mode instead.
The difficulty level has a steady arch, with things becoming quite challenging at just ten levels in. Couch coop is a focus here, giving you time to coordinate and plan out every movement with your teammate, then call them an idiot when a minor movement ends with you falling to your quick and painful death.
Players are ranked based on the time completion and amount of deaths they took to finish, with ranks from efficient and incredible to we need to talk. If there is no one to play with, you can play the Lonely Co-op mode. Here you will control each robot with the joysticks, something that takes some coordination. It’s definitely a harder challenge, there were plenty of times I forgot what stick controlled which robot and took a unintended dive.
Teams will need strong observation and communication to stay alive. The original prototype originated at the 2015 48 hour Global Game Jam, themed “What do we do next?” This is a fun game that had me scratching my head for too long, but once you get that “click” and figure out a puzzle. the drive to complete the next overcomes you.
Death Squared is an addicting, entertaining, puzzle game that stays original and familiar at the same time, drawing from past games but all while staying unique. If you are in need of a strong party game that has the “make or break friendships” feeling as risk or monopoly, then look no further, I’m sure this one will take the cake.