So this is supposed to be where I describe the plot.
This game doesn’t have much story to speak of. The point of the game is to help the little cute creatures to get into an elevator. The way you do that is by using a slingshot that comes from a reticule to fling them into said elevator. Along the way, they throw more and more hazardous traps to block your way. Every tenth level is a boss fight with the Hatebot (also kind of cute in it’s own way). There are also a handful of bonus levels to play through that are unlocked through “achieve mints”.
This is starting to sound like something I have played before.
In a nut shell, this game feels like Super Meat Boy and Angry Birds had a weird, video game baby. It has the challenge and graphic violence of Super Meat Boy, but the slingshot mechanics of Angry Birds.
But Cute Things Dying Violently is not a straight knock off. Apathy Works, the developer, gave the normally mindless main characters real personality. They say things like “I like life” one second and “I hate you” the next, all in the voice that should be coming out of a Teletubby. And that doesn’t even touch on the more vulgar things they say. When the title of the game may read “cute things”, they are just that, small smiley faces with arms and legs that are just adorable…that’s not to say that it wasn’t fun to launch them into a laser or buzz saw though…
The good, the bad, and the uncontrollable.
As you play, the goal is to get as many of the cute little guys into the elevator as possible. The game counts the number of guys you save and uses that number towards unlocking future levels. As you would expect, the more you progress, the harder the game gets. Once they start throwing multiple obstacles at you the game can get pretty frustrating. The good news is that this isn’t a cheap kind of frustrating; this is a truly difficult challenge where you know the reason you are failing is because you aren’t doing something right most of the time.
Unfortunately, the rest of the time you fail because of poor controls. Using a thumb stick gives you a a greater sense of accuracy and control, but it is too bad that it only works like that when you have the thumbstick all the way in one direction for a fully powered flick. If you want anything less than that, you run into problems. The partial power flicks don’t have the same snap back of the joystick that they full power ones do, and often the game interprets that as your thumb moving back to center and not a flick. This is more of a problem at the end of the game when speed and precision are key, and after an hour will have you pulling out your hair.
Arrrgh, I hate clowns.
The graphics look like an early 1990′s Nickelodeon cartoon, until you add the blood and gore. That is what made this game unique, the fact that it didn’t shy away from going completely over the top with the violence. Add on top of that the music that gave off a pop/circus vibe, and the atmosphere blended really well.
And now to draw to a close.
But the real draw for the game is the violence and humor. Whether it is the help signs telling you to kill the guys you are supposed to save (“Nothing bad will happen”) or the adorable little guys dropping F-bombs as they fly towards certain death by buzz saw, Cute Things Dying Violently is one of the funniest games I have played in a long time. Even though the controls can be wonky, you can build your own levels using a level editor or play with a partner in local co-op. This game is worth the 80 msp ($1) for the laughs and violence alone.