Suicide Guy answers the question of what really happens when you die in a dream.
Upon hearing the premise of Suicide Guy which is a game about a guy searching out new and creative ways to off himself, I thought it was a pretty morbid premise for a video game. However, the morbid nature of this premise is scaled back somewhat when you find out in the opening cutscenes that you're actually inside a multitude of dream states and the only way to wake up is for your character to die in the dream.
Each of Suicide Guy's 25 dream levels has one specific way for you to die and you're going to have to put in some effort to figure it out. The basic gameplay blends puzzle and adventure elements and it's generally pretty easy to figure out which items you can interact with in each level but figuring out the proper way to use them is a lot more challenging.
There's a touch of fun irony in the gameplay that made me smile on more than one occasion. In most games, the objective is not to die and levels within a game are strewn with bad guys and traps just waiting to kill you. Because I've been so engrained with that gaming paradigm, there were times while playing Suicide Guy where I found myself treading cautiously and watching out for traps or enemies to spring out at me. Of course, those don't exist because dying requires much more intricate solutions so I would always laugh whenever I realized what I was doing.
The creativity in Suicide Guy is its best aspect. Early deaths in the campaign include flying warp speed into a fiery sun and pissing off a great white whale enough that he will ram and destroy a lighthouse. I don't want to spoil too many of the other situations because encountering and exploring them are the most enjoyable part of the game. Additionally, prepare yourself for plenty of references to other video games and plenty of pop culture franchises.
Although it sounds fun so far, there are some frustrating aspects that bring the Suicide Guy experience down. The whole game feels and plays like a rough physics sandbox as it's built to be functional but not glamorous. Not much has been refined. For example, the graphics are simple and when the main character holds something, it literally just floats in front of him. Also, occasional environmental glitches will result in you losing access to an interactive item by setting or throwing it in the wrong place.
While the puzzles are mostly enjoyable, there are a few levels that devolve into moving blocks and objects back and forth across a room. Other levels require just a little too much platforming, another aspect of Suicide Guy that is functional but far from great. Finally, an annoying qualm I have with many puzzle games is also present in Suicide Guy. Namely, the only way to unlock a level is to complete the previous ones. This means that if you get really stumped on a single level, your progress is completely halted and you have no other levels to work through until you eventually complete the one that you're stuck on.
Suicide Guy has a fresh albeit morbid premise. I wish the core gameplay had been a little more refined because the memorable and creative solutions are great but sometimes, it can be quite a pain to put your suicide plans into action.
- + Innovative premise that's the opposite of virtually every other video game
- + Creative and clever solutions
- + Fun pop culture references
- - Levels unlock one at a time so getting stuck on a puzzle halts progress
- - Functional but far from refined visuals
- - Finicky platforming and controls