Life Goes On Review – MOUSE n JOYPAD

Life Goes On Review


Life Goes On has a name seems somewhat unfortunate, should you ask me. Knight Murder Simulator might be the better title, for the one it currently has nearly made me skip the game. You know how it is – with all the indies currently being thrown around on Steam, it’s all too easy to start judging games by their names. Thankfully, Life Goes On ended up in my paws, disregarding its title.

The way this game handles death is much funnier and more light-hearted than the overly melancholic title would ever suggest. But let’s begin by saying, that there’s not a drop of blood in this game. The developers built this world by replacing human knights with floating armors that inexplicably remain in place even after their ghastly wearer has diminished. So there you have it – you technically aren’t even killing any actual humans, in case you were worried about that. Even though all the knights have shining armor and weapons, you won’t ever be using them. It’s just there for the form, because neither would invisible armorless characters nor some random lemming-like creatures work in this game. See, every single trap (and some static walls, should they be given a chance) will kill your knights as soon as they come into contact with it. This allows players to quickly build intricate mechanisms using nothing but corpses of their character’s fallen mates, as well as the devices they’ve been torn apart by.

Thankfully, this game doesn’t work on the same principle as the Lemmings series does, which is to say that the players themselves control their knights here. Being surprisingly responsive and agile, the knights readily react to input, leaving little place for annoyance, platforming-wise. There’s only one issue with it, and that’s the fact that the corpses of your knights seem to be a little slippery, which can lead to death when running across long gaps filled with spikes. As for the murders (levels) themselves, they are well built and provide a good challenge throughout the entirety of the game. And herein also lies the biggest problem Life Goes On has. There’s really no point in you solving the puzzles, other than the puzzle solving itself. Yes, sure, this can work for quite a while if the game is fun, but not if it stays the same for its entirety. Repetitive environments rendered using boring 3D objects don’t do much good either. For a game that is quite reliant on its charm to keep you playing, it boggles me that the 3D artists couldn’t have given more oomph to this little gem. Thankfully, it’s the knights (and, incidentally, their deaths) that make playing fun and inviting so that’s a huge plus.

Sounds are both cute and frightening at the same time. Yes, we’re talking about the death cries here. They just seem to hit the middle-ground perfectly, even though I’m pretty sure that should hardly be possible. You won’t have any nightmares, but you won’t be too fond of your walking fodder either. The soundtrack stays mostly the same from the first to the last level, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It stays in the background and is stealthily pleasant, even though you won’t even notice it after a couple of levels.

The puzzles consist of a couple of traps, multiple spawners and an ordinary platforming wireframe to mesh it all together. There are flamethrowers, spikes, lightning arcs, flamethrowers, spikes, some more spikes… you get the point. There’s a certain feeling that the game just doesn’t have enough fluff to keep things interesting. Of course, using a couple of basic elements one can build hundreds upon hundreds of different levels due to a little thing we like to call imagination (imagine the word sparkling). I have to admit, this game does use what little resources it has in some very wild ways. For example, who has ever used a checkpoint as something the player has to avoid? Checkpoints usually mean that you’re going the right way. Not this time, though. In a lot of later stages, you will have to pick which spawner serves your purpose the best, and this means that you need to consider a whole lot of elements to conclude what’s what and where will you end up after each spawner. That’s brain food right there.

Funnily enough, Life Goes On is a game that is going to make you want to play more, despite some of its shortcomings. What it lacks in world design, visuals and traps, it more than makes up with all the soon-to-be-dead knights it tirelessly throws your way. It is my firm belief that everyone can enjoy this game, as the ordinary humans can play it to kill loads of friendly critters, and the puzzle players will certainly love all the mechanisms they can influence on their way to the final level.