LIFE GOES ON: DONE TO DEATH
By Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams on May 19, 2016
Have you ever had one of those days when you just know you absolutely have to have that one item you were longing for? Well, a mighty king in a faraway land certainly does. And it's no mere trinket he's after; he has discovered the location of the mythical Cup of Life and now he wants it. And, being the king, he has a huge selection of loyal knights to send on this quest... and, for most of these valiant knights, to their untimely deaths.
Life Goes On: Done to Death is a hilarious puzzle platform game by Infinite Monkeys Entertainment, in which you control the knights that are on the quest to retrieve the fabled Cup of Life. But there's a twist; you will actually have to kill off quite a number of them to reach you're final destination. I know what you're thinking: “Sacrifice is needed for the greater good" and normally, I would agree... normally! See, usually, knights die in battle with other, equally valiant knights, that just happen to be on the other side of the conflict. This is, after all, how wars are fought. You don't usually see a knight happily impaling himself on the pointy end of a metal stake so his fellow knights can use his head as a stepping stone. Yet, this is exactly what Life Goes On: Done to Death is all about.
Each level is comprised of a series of dangerous obstacles for you to circumvent. These obstacles may be steel spikes that stick out of the ground or walls, flamethrowers, sharp saw blades or even electrical traps. It's your duty as commander of this vast, steel-clad army to get one of your knights all the way across to the other side, and collect what you hope is the Cup of Life. In order to do so, you will have to sacrifice a number of knights to make it across. For instance: Sometimes a spike-pit will be too big to jump across, so you'll have to impale one of your knights somewhere in the pit in order to let the next knight pass safely. Same goes for spiked walls; if you impale a knight against said wall, the next knight will be able to hold on to the corpse and climb to safety.
To make things more interesting, some of the traps can be enabled and disabled by using pressure switches. So in order to pass safely under a flamethrower, a knight might have to climb up a bit, hurl himself into a spinning saw blade of death and dismemberment and let his body travel along a conveyor belt and get dumped on the switch in question, turning off the flame thrower. Although his life is now officially over, the next knight in line will be able to stroll leisurely towards the next obstacle. So as you may have guessed by now, it will take quite a few violent deaths to get to where it is you want to be.
The fun thing about playing this game is that you can only have one live knight in play at any given time. So in order for you to be able to spawn a shiny new knight, your current knight has to die first. This adds a bit more complexity to this already challenging game. I can easily place a knight on a switch in order to disable a specific trap, but then I cannot spawn another knight to proceed through the level. So it's a question of killing of your current knight and transporting his lifeless body to wherever it is you want it.
After completing a level, you'll get an update about how you did. See, each level has a few challenges of its own: How many knights did you need to reach the cup at the end of the level? How long did it take you to reach said cup? And, finally, did you find Jeff? Jeff?! Yes, Jeff! Hmm, I see you're are getting confused; please let me explain. Jeff is a cute and furry ball of joy that is hiding somewhere in a level. He likes nothing more than to make a new friend, eat him whole and go to sleep. Jeff is hiding in each and every level, so keep your eyes peeled for his twinkling little eyes.
When you meet the criteria for one or all of these challenges you will get a reward, in the form of a hat or a weapon. In keeping with everything else in the game, these rewards are hilarious! Please, do yourself a favor and read the description of the rewards you collect along the way. They are guaranteed to make you laugh out loud. What was that? You didn't think they were funny?! Then you obviously don't know what funny is. Please go away now! I'm sorry, ladies and gentlemen, that you had to witness that, but I just get so mad when people disagree with me...
Back to the game at hand! Where were we...? Oh yes, the rewards! After you've collected these rewards, your knights will spawn with these hats on or with these weapons in hand. Now, you might be thinking that having a weapon will make things easier. Well, in this case, you would be wrong, because the weapons do absolutely nothing; they're just there for show and to have something nice to collect. And if you want, you can even browse through your collection of hats and weapons in the Armory. If you're up for even more fun, check out the names of your knights, written on a scroll at the bottom of your screen. Each character has its own title and name, which are crossed out and replaced by a new name and title when your knight dies and a new one is spawned. Also worth noting are the cups you collect at the end of each level. These golden goblets each bare a cool name, so make sure you check them out after you've finished the level!
While I was playing Life Goes On: Done to Death, I found myself going through level after level without losing the slightest bit of interest, laughing jollily at the in-game jokes and laughing slightly maniacally when sending another poor soul to his demise. I caught myself thinking: “Wow, this is a really good game!" After checking to see if none of the developers traveled to the Netherlands, crept up to my balcony and was whispering these things in my ears, I wholeheartedly agreed with myself and just kept on playing. But, all foolery aside, I can only say that I absolutely love playing Life Goes On: Done to Death, because it's a really, REALLY good game. However simple it may seem, it's actually quite a challenge; and an extremely fun one at that!
The cartoonish graphics look really good and fit the game's violent but extremely fun premise perfectly. The controls are simple yet very responsive, which makes controlling your knights just as easy as winning a contest to see who has the strongest pulse: you or Elvis Presley! The graphics, the music, the gameplay, the cool items you come across; everything about this game just seems to be screaming “HAVE FUN!!!" at the top of its lungs. And trust me when I say that it is very hard not to do so when playing it. So grab your knights and do with them whatever you wish; impale them, freeze them, burn them, electrocute them, they don't care! These valiant knights are prepared to die for their king, so who are we to deny them that honor? So now, if you'd excuse me, I've got a few more knights to send to their doom and a few cups to collect. And I will probably be doing so for quite a long time to come. And do you know why? I'll tell you why! Because Life Goes On: Done to Death really is a game to die for!
LIFE GOES ON: DONE TO DEATH
Infinite Monkeys Entertainment
May 17, 2016