With a cutesy art style that juxtaposes its brutally heartless gameplay mechanic, Life Goes On: Done To Death explores everything the name suggests.
Survival is pretty hardwired into the human brain, nearly (if not everything in some form or another) we do is geared toward this evolutionary need to just keep going. So playing Life Goes On: Done To Death is a bizarre distraction from this effort to live. You have no specific character, rather you take on the role of one nameless, faceless soldier after another. Serving their King’s desire to reach immortality via a magical chalice, guide your soldiers as they lay down their lives (quite literally, they die… the next soldier walks over them), to progress their ruler’s quest.
Death is hardwired into this game. From the start, your goal is to kill your heroic footmen in the correct ways so as to allow later platoons to continue on their journey. It’s a dark subject matter – thousands of seemingly worthless lives being lost for one ruler’s search for immortality, but the devilishly humorous atmosphere of the experience saves it from feeling unnecessarily cruel.
While its cartoonish appearance and playful soundtrack may make this tragic situation feel simple, the actual mechanics of the game are thoughtful and become incredibly tricky at times. Such a focus on dying at the opportune moment so that the next soldier to spawn will be able to further your attempts brings gameplay into a new realm of thought. Some serious brain work will be required to reverse your previous thought processes, you’re now searching for those deadly spikes, that fire, and those circular saws. Precisely arranging bodies is a skill no one should master, but is necessary for any form of progression in this charming title. Methods of death are plentiful, and provide some comic moments and dynamism in gameplay. However arbitrary attributes feel slightly pointless in the grand scheme of the experience. Beating each level in a certain way, with a certain number of soldiers killed, and a perfect time, will open up new character skins for your soldiers. They have no impact in-game, and are really just to pretty up your men before they’re slaughtered for their King, so think about that for a while.
There’s plenty to ponder both when engaging in this thought-provokingly comic title and when considering its overall statement. With a cutesy art style that juxtaposes its brutally heartless gameplay mechanic, Life Goes On: Done To Death explores everything the name suggests. Through charming character design, and a disarmingly simple appearance, the game provides players with challenges that seek to be solved as creatively as possible.