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Death Squared
Game Reviews

Death Squared

Infuriating puzzle-solving for you and a pal or three; just try to stay calm.

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Remember Snipperclips? We talked about that one some time ago, it’s a puzzle game for the Switch where, ideally, two players who each have a Joy-Con solve problems together. It’s maddening. You’ve heard of how Mario Party can kill friendships, but the mustachioed mascot has nothing on Snipperclips. Someone liked that idea, I suppose, and in an effort to cleanse the earth of happiness and camaraderie released Death Squared, another puzzle game for the Switch (ported from the PC) with a similar concept that leads to similar results.

In a lab owned by robotics company Omnicorp, technician David Valenzuela works with his AI companion IRIS to test new AI subroutines in the form of little cube robots. The ‘bots are placed into a puzzle and graded based on how long it takes for them to solve it. Each brain-teaser is all about cooperation, since at least two ‘bots are always working together at a time; teamwork is key! Valenzuela and IRIS comment on the proceedings as the ‘bots proceed through each puzzle, providing a little much-needed comic relief along the way.

It’s much-needed because Death Squared can be brutal, to say the least. Given that there’s at least two ‘bots in each puzzle, you’re either controlling them both simultaneously or handing a Joy-Con off to a friend. In either case, Both of which have their own foibles, by which I mean you’re either competing with your own stupidity or that of someone else. Pick your poison, I suppose. Puzzles typically boil down to using one bot to open paths for the other, either by sitting one on a switch while the other moves or by stacking them together to get some height; later, colored lasers are added that require you to use one bot as a blocker so the other can move around without getting zapped.

Things start out simple enough but rapidly grows in complexity until you’re tearing your hair out. Or your friend’s hair. Or both. That’s not even saying anything about the four-player mode because I don’t want to get arrested for the murder of my stupid, stupid teammates.

If you’re into this sort of gameplay then Death Squared’s all you, because that’s all it is! There’s even more of the that in the Vault, which is even more difficult and yeah I don’t think I’m going to make it through those before I die from an aneurysm, and the aforementioned four-player Party mode. Presentation-wise it’s a cute sort of game and the banter between Valenzuela and IRIS can be legitimately amusing…which is good, since you’re going to need some comic relief to get through this one.

If puzzles are your thing, then Death Squared is the way to go! If Switch games aren’t your thing because you don’t have one, then you can get it on another console or Steam! If you like having friends, then keeping them away from this one is probably a good idea, since you’re going to end up punching each other! Death Squared is an exercise for both your wits and your patience; you’d better come fully stocked with both.

About the Author: Cory Galliher