Felix The Reaper is a highly entertaining isometric puzzler where you play as the titular character, who just so happens to be a chubby reaper with slick moves and a killer playlist. As an employee of the Ministry of Death, you make sure that demises are carried out as per each level’s Plan of Death, through shadow manipulation and object re-arrangement.
Despite the lack of speech throughout the demo’s five levels, you’ll find Felix strikingly expressive; creator Kong Orange worked with professional dancers to create Felix’s stylish movements, as well as indie artists to create the dance music for Felix’s mixtape. Why all this effort, you might wonder? Well, Felix is in love! According to Kong Orange, our dear reaper has lost his heart to Betty the Maiden who works in the Ministry of Life. By working in the field as an agent of death, lovesick Felix hopes their paths will eventually collide and he’ll be able to ask Betty out for a dance.
With the power to manipulate the sun’s position, you must help Felix boogie his way across a chequerboard of light and darkness, keeping to the shadows. The complexity of the puzzles increases quite rapidly and you sometimes find yourself wondering how to accomplish your macabre task, as there isn’t really much of a hint system; like me, you may hit the ‘reset level’ button every now and then.
This frustration is offset by the charming visuals, setting and sound used to craft the set of levels comprising the first ‘world’ – isolated, snow-covered medieval islands each containing a scene which inevitably leads to a death, like a morbid set of snow globes floating in the infinite void. The painterly, almost pulp-art style combined with the comedic grotesqueness of the characters, the 80s synth funk soundtrack and Felix’s choreographed dance moves provides a wonderful contrast to the macabre plotline and eventual ending of each level, giving the game a unique and refreshing visual take on the puzzler genre.
I’m really looking forward to the full game release for both PC and Mac and getting a copy of Felix’s fantastic playlist. There are so many games out there with incredible playlists, but it’s not often that one gets SO stuck in your head you can’t help dancing along as you play! (Looking at you, Mikkel Filholm.)