Life Goes On: Done to Death is a comically morbid puzzle game that consists of having to kill yourself in order to get through each level. Developer, Infinite Monkeys, to their credit, have put a lot of time and thought into the puzzle nature of the game, but the real issue is if the player will stick around to the end.
You play as a knight(s) that are on their way to find the great treasure known as the Cup of Life. There are four areas that have about sixteen puzzles each that the player will have to traverse by manipulating corpses. I am not making a play on words here, that it literally what you are doing.
Every time you die; your body stays in place. When you respawn, you can use the body to get through obstacles. I am using that explanation very lightly though as it is not as simple as it looks, or sounds. The learning curve with this game took me a while to get over simply because you have to kill your knights, and since surviving is what most of us have been programmed to do, it took me a while to get used to the idea.
The idea is a bit messed up, but fortunately there is a lot of light heartedness to the game that is complimented well with the soundtrack, the way the game makes fun of itself, and sometimes in snarky ways towards the player. It’s not an overly violent game from a gore aspect; when you do throw yourself onto spikes, there is no blood shown on screen.
The problem I came across with the game is the overall physics of the bodies and how they land. Just as an example, in the early parts of first area, the game didn’t make mention of all the different things you can do. While it gives it a challenge, I had no idea that I could kill myself multiple times onto a bed of spikes on a moving platform, and then die again on top of those bodies, so that when I pressed a button within the level, I could dump the loose body onto a button that would allow my escape.
In the game, you are given a challenge to commit suicide a limited amount of times and clear the board in a matter of seconds. While I did enjoy that challenge aspect, it came down to more luck most of the time. If your corpse doesn’t land in a certain way due to the ragdoll physics, then you may have either start the board over, or just kill yourself again. This is very prominent when you stick your bodies onto vertical platforms in order to perform a wall jump; sometimes you catch the area, or body you need, or you die…again. Truthfully, you will not reach each the goals the first time anyways as you have to experiment on what some buttons do, but at least it gives the game a high replay value.
Life Goes On: Done to Death is morbidly silly and challenging. Most of that challenge comes from the lack of explanation of the physics early in the game. After you get past the first half of the first world you’ll understand what to do. Having said that, there are many new elements and traps that pop up along the way, that will make your mind work overtime. The only major fault is that even though there is replay value to the game, you may want to pull your hair out during some puzzles that will ultimately make you not want to even go through it again to beat the objectives. Life Goes On is a well thought out game; full of electrocutions, impalements, and death by fire or ice, if you enjoy a challenge, but there just isn’t enough there that makes me want to go back and beat my own score because of some of the frustration I felt.