What was it that drew me to Peace, Death!- the fact that it deals with critical decision-making that impacts the lives of others or perhaps that you play as Death? Well, you don’t play as Death exactly, but you play a reaper filling in for him. Your decisions are essential though as you’ll be sending people/demons to Heaven or Hell.
Peace, Death! by Azamatika is a straightforward game. The brief background story is the reaper you play as is sitting in front of the box and wants pizza, but he realises he doesn’t have any money. He heads into work to make a living judging those at the gates of Hell. Your ‘clients’ will appear in front of your desk for you to decide if they go to Heaven, Hell or Purgatory.
It isn’t as in-depth as it sounds. The judgement lies in your observational skills. Firstly, you will be looking for visual clues on whether or not one of your clients is a demon with protruding horns. Later, some will wear hats to try to hide their horns, and you will need to peek under them. Other things to look out for will be your client holding a weapon or blood on the floor. As you move up a level, there is another ‘thing’ to look out for.
There isn’t any time to ponder about as you need to complete your client list as fast as you can, ideally without any mistakes. A mistake may be sending a demon to Heaven (perhaps you missed those horns or their red skin). You can get away with a few errors, but make too many and you need to restart the day.
Peace, Death! and Sprites
For once, this isn’t pixel art – Peace, Death! uses sprite imagery, and for what it is, it looks pretty good in terms of nostalgia for those who like games from the ’90s and up, such as Maniac Mansion or even Thimbleweed Park. I can’t say the same for the sound – it consists of jibberish that is spoken while you read the text and the sound of a conveyor belt bringing in the next client.
I was quite impressed with the characters that appear in the game. There are quite subtle changes to their appearances that it’s easy to make a mistake – especially if you’re trying to go as fast as you can. There will be some of the characters that will be reused – of course, that’s the case – but sometimes there are a few cameos in there too.
Early on you’ll see famous celebrities, like Terry Crews, Frank Zappa(?), Jay and Silent Bob and even Donald Trump. It was inevitable you would encounter the latter, considering the location. The dialogue for each client is pretty witty too. Unfortunately, you’ll sometimes miss what they have said as you desperately try to get through the day as quickly as possible.
Decision-Making Is Hell
Between your working hours (your place of work is called Apocalypse Inc.), you can speak with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Often they will ask you to cover for them, resulting in you getting some items that allow you to reduce the number of things to look for in a client or to minimise a catastrophe. Did I mention the catastrophes?
Quite randomly on some of the levels will be a catastrophe where there will be a deluge of clients, mostly looking the same, where you have about four seconds to determine where they go. It’s an excellent multiplier to get your score up but certainly adds to the pressure. You’ll also get random phone calls mid-game that ask you to make a decision and can throw you off your momentum too.
While the location never changes, nor do the basic schematics of the game (send to Heaven, Hell or Purgatory) as the number of features to look out for increases, along with the random events, it might put off a few people as it is quite tricky. I didn’t find it so frustrating but can see why some may be dissuaded from continuing with the game.
Release Date: 24th March 2019
What do you think about our review of Peace, Death!? Will you be getting your hands on a copy? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.
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