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Life Goes On: Done to Death Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Life Goes On: Done to Death takes a killer concept and turns it into a fun little puzzler. It's never as challenging as I would have liked and it only takes the theme so far, but this charming PS4 platformer gets nearly everything else right. Rating: 71%
Life Goes On: Done to Death
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Life Goes On: Done to Death Life Goes On: Done to Death Life Goes On: Done to Death Life Goes On: Done to Death
  • Review Score:

  • B
Video game developers have waffled back and forth when it comes to the touchy subject of death. It used to be that gamers would spend hours memorizing boss patterns and level designs just to beat Mega Man in a set number of lives. A couple decades later, major companies were terrified to let their heroes die. Now it seems the pendulum has swung towards roguelikes, where players make the most out of a single life. But while other developers try to find the right approach, Canadian trio Infinite Monkeys has come up with a very clever way to use death to their advantage in the brand new puzzle game Life Goes On: Done to Death.

Now this is a fun concept: You play a never-ending line of brave knights attempting to track down a series of valuable grails scattered all across the land. Unfortunately, there's bad news for these adventurers, as all of the treasures are hidden behind treacherous obstacles. But while these traps may be too much for one person to handle, they can be overcome by using the bodies of those who came before.


The easiest puzzles have you purposely killing off these knights in spike pits in order to walk across to safety. You'll also use the lifeless bodies to trigger giant buttons, freeze them into giant cubes of ice, complete circuits and much more. Every puzzle can be solved by throwing enough goofy-named characters at the problem, which is something I really liked about Life Goes On.

As you would expect, the levels start out extremely simple and then turn into lengthy ordeals filled with multiple checkpoints and sections to complete. There are dozens of stages to finish, each grouped into areas like The Mines, The Mountains, The Castle, The Ruins and beyond. These different areas add new wrinkles to the puzzles, all while coming up with unique ways to kill the hapless heroes.

Although the puzzles keep getting longer and more elaborate, I never found them to be especially difficult. There aren't that many types of solutions, so most levels can be solved with minimal trial and error. Even the puzzles that demand quick movements give us more than enough time to work with. While most puzzle games ratchet up the difficulty in frustrating ways, Life Goes On remained steady and always doable.

Life Goes On: Done to Death (PlayStation 4)Click For the Full Picture Archive

That's actually one of the things I disliked about this puzzle game. It's not that I am looking for a crushing difficulty, but do wish that a little more was done with the life and death concept. While the new wrinkles added from one area to the next are nice, they didn't add enough to the core conceit. There's a lot of fertile ground Infinite Monkeys can plow if they decide to make a follow-up.

This is the kind of game that is a lot more fun to play than it is to look at. It's not that the graphics are bad, but they don't really stand out. You'll see a lot of the same backgrounds and obstacles from one stage to the next, and the knights all blend together after a while. That said, there are a few moments where the game comes to life and shows what the developers are capable of. There are some moving puzzles that give the game a sense of urgency it so desperately needs.

Life Goes On: Done to Death (PlayStation 4)Click For the Full Picture Archive

While the presentation left me wanting, I was completely satisfied by the precise controls and simple gameplay. This is the kind of game where you'll die a lot, but very few of those deaths were caused by laggy button input or sloppy handling. It's a good playing game. Life Goes On also has a great sense of humor, as you may have guessed by the snarky title. Everybody has a silly name and there are so many great death screams coming from the DualShock 4 controller. What the game lacks in great graphics it more than makes up for with personality.

This is one of those games that takes a killer concept and turns it into a fun little puzzler. It's never as challenging as I would have liked and it only takes the theme so far, but Life Goes On: Done to Death gets everything else right. It's a charming platformer with great controls and a good sense of humor. And best of all, it's one of the few games that actually makes good use of all the dead bodies lying around. I'm glad I wasn't there to smell it.
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