Review: Cute Things Dying Violently
Cute Things Dying Violently (CTDV) is a Puzzle Platformer game where you must flick cute critters into an elevator without getting them killed. Contrary to the name, the focus of CTDV is not to watch things die in violent ways. Throughout the 60 stage game, you’ll have to shoot your critters through lethal devices such as spikes, buzzsaws, lightning rods and fire in order to get them to safety. I’d describe it as Angry Birds’ controls meet Super Meat Boy’s difficulty and violence.
The first thing I noticed with this game is the developer’s input. If it wasn’t obvious by the name, this guy has a distinct sense of humor and it is on full display here. He inserts little pieces of comedy into the tutorial explanations (see picture above), what the critters say when you move/flick them (“I love life” to “Jesus Christ!”), the menu screens, and even the loading bar. You know the developer is having fun making their game when you get a loading bar that says “confirming admission of failure” as you retry a level. Maybe it’s just me, but little things like that make the game more enjoyable.
The overall presentation of the game keeps to the theme of “sit back, enjoy, and don’t take things seriously”. Music is cheery, goofy, and cartoony. The Environments and critters are colorful and easy to look at. And, as mentioned before, the game has a pretty good sense of humor all around.
The gameplay here is solid. The designs of each stage progressively get more difficult and add in new obstacles which change up the way you finish these puzzles. Initially it’s about getting the right angles to flick your Critter. But then you insert fans and bubbles into the mix and everything becomes more complicated. It kept me interested with what the game had planned for me next. It is a shame that the boss stages don’t have the same level creativity as they are the easiest to figure out.
CTDV is a very addictive game and thankfully provides for that addiction with achievements, additional special levels, and a level editor. I did give the level editor a try and it was very easy to get into. You can create a fully function level just like the ones in the game without much hassle. Just check out my creation in the picture below.
Much like Super Met Boy, Cute Things Dying Violently is both challenging and frustrating, but not because the game is flawed. It’s frustrating because the levels are precision-based and if you fail, it’s your fault, not the games. CTDV rewards perseverance with the knowledge that you beat that damn level most others would have given up on. Like Mega Man, Sonic, or the more modern game Catherine, the stages are meant to be replayed and mastered.
In the end, if you get frustrated with games easily or don’t like gore and seeing cute things die, you’d best pass on this one. However, if you like challenging games with lots of replay value, a fun and quirky presentation, and a $3.00 price tag, get Cute Things Dying Violently.
Summary: Cute Things Dying Violently is an addictive and challenging puzzle platformer with a funny self-aware personality and plenty of replayability.
Verdict: 9 out of 10
Platforms: PC, Xbox 360