There is a great humorous potential to be exploited in the cold world of science and artificial intelligence, if you have the right inclination, and from Portal onwards started a sort of thread that played on cynicism and the absurdity of certain experiments It is fine to put together a vision that is both funny and dreadful of technology and scientific research. Death Squared fits into this imaginary of cruel trials and hardcore departures, all in honor of unidentified tests carried out by an employee named David hired at the mysterious company Omni-corp. Driven by his iris working computer, endowed with a bitter artificial intelligence, David must complete 80 intelligence-focused tests by solving environmental puzzles involving simultaneous use of two work robots in strange and intricate environments.
The structure of Death Squared follows a somewhat schematic approach, but the apparent coldness of the adopted graphic style and the treated theme is overwhelmed by the fundamental humor, constantly supported by the ironic dialogues between David and Iris, which, in addition to providing vague references to the narrative substrate Fundamentally comment sarcastically about the successes and (many) failures that go on screen, while trying to figure out exactly how to maneuver the two cubic robots by avoiding them finishing in the most atrocious manners. As is evident from the title, "death" is an element always present in Death Squared, despite the fact that it is the destruction of the two cars: not only is the minimum error punished severely, but the search for the solution necessarily goes through A first trial period that inevitably brings the two poor robots into falling, exploding, or destroying in various ways. Frustration, in short, seems to be an integral part of the gameplay in Death Squared.
It is therefore to drive these two robots (or more, in the case of multiplayer to more than two players) of cubic form inside labyrinthic levels consisting of blocks suspended in the void, trying to reach their point of arrival. Playing alone, the control system closely resembles that seen in Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, with the two stick controlling the two robots independently. Puzzles are structured in such a way as to require coordinated action between the two, which are therefore to be moved simultaneously or in shifts according to the exact patterns, so as not to trap the levels trapped. The alternation in the use of the two is fundamental and is played on the chromatic elements: for example, the red towers can only damage the blue robot and vice versa, as the blue transparent cubes can only be trampled on by the red robot and vice versa. Pressing some boxes can trigger opposing traps or transport mechanisms, all situations where you need to understand the order in which to move the two characters and the precise maneuvers to perform.
All this leads to planning a careful and perfectly coordinated use of the two robots to reach the end of the levels, although in some cases the solution may be somewhat random and others have the obvious impression of being able to force one Not just an orthodox solution to the conclusion. In some ways, the structure also remembers the excellent SnipperClips, especially when playing in multiplayer two-player cooperative, since in single, unlike the SFB Games title, here you have to move the two protagonists simultaneously, Performing different movements with the two analog stickers. The similarity appears to be evident in the case of multiplayer with two or more players, where the fun increases with the need to agree with each other lurking instructions each other and laughing at each end of the poor robot, thus also frustrating the sense of frustration Single tends to often emerge, perhaps after many attempts went wrong.
Death Squared abandons any graphic sophistication to focus on functionality, stageing levels consisting of simple metal blocks and few aesthetic nods to revitalize the environment and counting on the audio support provided by the intense dialogues between David and artificial intelligence to give character to all. The beginning is dragging, but we are far behind Portal's characterization peaks and the humor present is not always able to dissipate a certain monotony and frustration that can emerge from the structure and environment chosen. There are also some objective problems, such as the inaccuracy that may arise from the perspective of fixed frame, which sometimes hides some elements or makes it difficult to evaluate distances perfectly. The response to commands is still quite accurate, a key element in a game of this kind, and level design alternates somewhat obvious solutions to some really brilliant tips, yet achieving the conclusion of the levels always a conquest that can give great satisfaction.
Of course, the repetition of scenographic elements and partly of gameplay solutions can lead to a physiological sense of monotony, given the little sense of progression given by a story that always remains at the margins of action, as it is a real puzzle Hard and pure, but if you do not get exaggerated with the puzzle doses this is a game that can go on for quite a while. The weapon in this version, which comes four months apart from others for PCs, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, does not fall into repeatability again comes from what is then one of the peculiar features of Switch: the multiplayer Immediate and everywhere. Beyond the easy slogan, in this case the "on the go" multiplayer is able to donate new lymph to a game that could bore the less propitious to the classic puzzle, making every moment and situation a lively gaming session cooperative.
There is a good level design work behind Death Squared, sometimes very good, and the particular mechanics of the simultaneous management of the two robots is well implemented. The frame on the contrast between the seriousness of science and artificial intelligence and the pungent sarcasm of the dialogues is well suited to a certain lack of graphic representation, but this is first and foremost a pure and simple puzzle without too much frills . It's a pity for some weaknesses that emerge between shots and rhythm, with an inevitable repetition that emerges during the 80 levels to be overcome, but the ability to face multiplayer challenges with great immediacy thanks to the particular configuration of Nintendo Switch always represents a great diversion.
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