Hello dear readers!
Sometimes I look at a game and think “Wow, no thanks.” It’s crude, judgmental, and a frequent part of my game picking regimen. Every once in a while, though, the universe decides to toss me a cupcake with “Suck It Up” scrawled across it, and this review is about just that. A couple of weeks ago, I was told to review Cute Things Dying Violently, and my inner gamer child gave a whiney huff. There was nothing about this game that caught my attention. The gore felt excessive, and the little creatures I had to save were too creepy for their own good. I just didn’t want to touch it.
I choked down the cupcake’s advice and tried the game anyway.
From the very start of the game, I got this whiff of adult humor and music akin to music from the Sega Genesis era, a fine vintage. Sassy organ aside, the art style is clearly hand drawn and interesting. I’m definitely a fan of the backgrounds; they have beautiful shading and attention to detail. The props throughout the game have a little thought put into each piece, and I appreciate the satire injected when possible.
Speaking of satire, the writing for the game is hilarious, albeit mature. When I say mature, I mean mature as in sex, drugs, and farts, not sophisticated. The “cute” creatures will curse at you if you grab them, fling them, or kill them, entirely on accident, of course. You’ll read plenty of instances of sarcasm, thinly veiled as help tips to aid you along your merry, (unintentionally) sadistic way.
As far as the gameplay goes, I’m torn. The game is a puzzle game that’s part Lemmings, part pull-and-flick. You can manipulate position of the creepy blue creatures and various props with your left mouse button. Right mouse button lets you pull back and fling everything, similar to Angry Birds. The goal for each level is to get as many of your creepy friends into the elevator somehow. Initially, you focus just on launching the blue critters into switches and hoping you don’t accidentally launch them into something pointy, but the puzzles start to get harder as you progress. After seven stages per level, you get to fight a boss that probably once lived on a bored student’s notebook. The Hate Bot comes to make your life difficult, and here is where my biggest gripe seems to arise. Try as they may, the controls are not very accurate, and my cursor tends to drift from whatever I try to manipulate. It makes dodging and maneuvering a pain, to say the least.
I have one last thing to mention is for those considering this game for the PC, but didn’t fit in with either category. The Steam Workshop is available for this game, which allows you to download levels made by others. You can also customize the little blue creatures if you’re feeling particularly vindictive or in need of a little more motivation to save your little friends.
In the end, I found Cute Things Dying Violently a surprising amount of fun. The music is very catchy, the art is interesting, and, excessive gore aside, the gameplay is enjoyable and somewhat challenging. I shouldn’t have been so judgmental, and I recommend this game to anyone who enjoys a little blood and explosions with their puzzle games.