Move or Die is the latest in the recent push for simple multiplayer titles designed for local co-op. The reason you’re seeing a coveted “Yay” at the top of the page there is because it’s also got online play! Yes, a feature that really ought to be standard in this day and age is present and accounted for in Move or Die. You can only spin local-only multiplayer as a positive so many ways before the illusion starts to fall apart, so I’m thankful that Move or Die actually allows us to play with others over the series of tubes.
But what do you do in Move or Die? Well, you move…or you lose health and eventually die. That’s pretty straightforward, right? Move or Die is a series of minigames stitched together by the titular premise. You and up to three of your best pals begin by customizing your characters, then voting on your favorite minigames, which are then jumbled together to make a playlist. Players earn points by doing well on minigames as you proceed through the playlist, and the first to reach a predetermined number of points wins.
There’s a moderate variety of minigames available at first. Early options include running down a hall to keep ahead of a scrolling screen, staying afloat as the floor crumbles beneath the players and dodging falling death-blocks. Initially these are a pretty good time and provide enough WarioWare-style variety to keep things feeling new. The overarching Move or Die theme remains constant, as mentioned, and this can lead to some hilarious strategy. Ramming into another player to stop them from avoiding a disappearing block could be a good plan, for instance, but as long as you’re pushing one another you’re not moving and that health meter is ticking down…
In a questionable design decision, though, not every minigame is unlocked at first; new games are found as random level-up rewards earned over time. The issue is that not only is leveling slower than you might like, but the rewards mix minigame unlocks with cosmetic unlocks. Your initial spread of minigames needs to last you for a while as it’s unlikely you’ll get more at a very fast clip. You might get sick of the floor-crumbling thing or whatever long before you get enough options to replace it.
Despite this, Move or Die delivers a solid multiplayer experience. Ironically, unlocking additional minigames becomes easier to deal with when you’ve got four players all leveling up, so this game’s biggest flaw becomes much easier to endure when you’ve got a full group together. Naturally, this means the minigames themselves are more fun as well.
Move or Die’s presentation is actually fairly polished; the graphics are nice and clean, the controls are responsive and the sound isn’t going to grate on your brain. Perhaps more importantly, the game fully supports Steam integration, so you can invite friends to games using the Steam front-end and trade cosmetic items via the Steam market. The latter isn’t really a big deal, but it’s vital for a multiplayer game like this that it’s easy to get a game together, and Move or Die makes things as simple as possible.
All in all, it might not have the same longevity of the classic Lethal League, but Move or Die is a great multiplayer game that’s worth a look. The minigame unlock system is a bit backwards and probably could have used a second pass, but it doesn’t kill the game. Either way, it wouldn’t surprise me if we saw cheats developed early on to unlock everything. If you’ve got a few friends who are into multiplayer action – either locally or across the planet – then you’d do well to give this one a whirl.