Death By Game Show pits you, a smart human at some point in the 26th century, against a bunch of droids that seem to have decided you’re too smart for humanity, and you’ve got to be separated as to lower the average IQ. Instead of killing you outright, they put you through a game show where you have to fight against a load of droids in order to survive and progress to the next round of the gameshow.
Death by Game Show is a type of game that for myself, I can’t figure out if I like it or not. It appears so simple, but it’s also really busy. The idea is there, and it’s strong, but I can’t figure out if the gameplay does it any justice.
So, you’re being made to take part in a game show with deadly consequences, just because you’re smarter than the average human. You need to survive each round by waiting for the time allocated to you to run out, at which point the spaceship you need to board to win will land. However, there are droids on the planet trying to kill you.
In a Tower Defence styled game, you can freeze the game to give your chubby smart human a breather whilst planning out your next move, or you can choose your tactics live and get a rush of adrenaline. Drag the camera left or right to look what’s happening in whichever direction you went, or zoom out to get a view of the entire battlefield and cry as you wonder how you’re going to survive this. I don’t know why you’re crying though, because you’re a smart fat human, you should be fine. Right?
You’re teamed up with a robot…well…chained up to a robot that contains all the droids you can use to your advantage and the buildings you can spawn for defenses, but spawn too many, and you risk tiring G.I.M.P to the point he has to fall over and regain his strength again, meaning you need to choose carefully unless you fancy lugging a metal block.
The amount of droids you can choose from is more than plenty, in fact, it feels a little bit daunting when you actually look at how many you can choose. Ten doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you’re actually playing, it certainly feels like too many to remember. There’s also eleven structures to choose, and six power ups. On top of that you’ve got signs all over the place, and speech bubbles popping up everywhere with humorous comments.
Personally, it feels like it’s doing too much.
The art style is interesting, it looks fairly rough, pale, and pastel coloured with dark and prominent outlines that give it that cartoon quality. It is nice to look at, very easy on the eyes, but it also feels dirty, and gritty, and this, I believe, suits the dark comedy feel very nicely. I guess you could certainly be safe in saying that the planet’s layout looks like a rough, death ground for contestants. It’s not very…appealing.
Despite having a load of droids running all over the place, exploding, and flying around it does run smoothly, although, the GUI and the amount of action happening kind of detracts from the experience and gives you too much to look at, which I suppose is where the Strategy Camera could come in useful, just to freeze time and marvel at the mass array of things surrounding you.
You also get a little gauntlet that can be turned into weaponry or used as a hook to grab items from afar. You can also activate a spinning wheel to give yourself a possible arsenal. Then when you’re bored of killing droids you get the option to build your own battleground! Not only can you customise loads of things, but you can add more thanks to the Steam workshop.
It’s an interesting take on the Tower Defence style gameplay, and it works, in both story and gameplay. I just feel like there’s too much happening that even with Strategy Camera activated, it just feeds you too much information. This is a personal gripe though, but it’s one I know some people will agree with. Otherwise, the game is certainly entertaining and enjoyable it just doesn’t seem to have that replay value, but it’s certainly an experience you want in your gaming life.