Review: Death Squared (Nintendo Switch)
Death Squared is a cooperative puzzle game for 1-4 players that can cause Mario Kart-like arguments between friends and family.
At the core, Death Squared is a pretty straightforward idea–move blocks around a course to reach a goal. While the single player is formidable, the game’s real charm–see argument induced hysteria–is playing with multiple players.
The main game offers 80 puzzle levels that can be completed solo or with another player. The main levels also feature full voice acting that can actually be pretty entertaining. There’s also Party Mode that offers 40 more levels for 2-4 players and 30 “Vault Levels”, a crazy challenge for those willing to risk life–or sanity.
I spent some time playing Death Squared with my wife. I love her to death but, let’s just say, she is frustratingly bad at video games. Once again, I say that with all my love. I enjoyed my time with the single player path of Death Squared, but the multiplayer version is where the game succeeds.
In the multiplayer “Party Mode,” each player has their squares to control; two for 2 players and a single square for all four players. The cooperation between the blocks is key to advance any level. Each movement has to be timed and choreographed to traverse successfully. In single player, when I have all the control, this idea worked out fine. In multiplayer, and with my wife, this task sank our relationship to annoyed stares and grunts. In all seriousness, Death Squad really is a joyful multiplayer experience. It’s one of the first game experiences that forces full cooperation and teamwork to complete each goal. My wife actually really enjoyed this game and it was the first game we joyfully played together in years. The amount of levels, and statistics, like tracking deaths, give this game some deep replay value.
This Death Squared review score probably ends up higher than most would expect (or not), but I honestly can’t find much fault with the game. What the developer, SMG Studio, set out to accomplish, a great puzzle game with deep co-op, was successful. Are there a few minor hiccups here and there? Sure, but the depth of controls and level design cover any missteps from the game.
Note – Death Squared is going on sale Sept. 28th – Oct. 8th