No One Has To Die

So, I’ve been making an effort to play more games recently. Or different games, at least. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, I’ve managed to come across a wide range of incredibly memorable games, which really do show the potential of individuals – and small groups – in the world of game design.

No One Has To Die is an interesting title I came across while browsing Game Jolt. Designed by Stuart Madafiglio, with Art by Cindy Xu and Music by Jesse Valentine, it is – to put it simply – a game of decisions. The player is placed in the role of “Visitor”, and tasked with aiding the survival of four individuals caught in a burning building. On each floor, the player must sacrifice one person so that another can survive, and each choice reveals more about the story – Who started the fire? Why did they do it? The player can “re-do” each floor, in order to do things a different way, and in doing so they can glean more answers from the characters, as well as more questions, until the bigger picture is finally revealed.

The gameplay itself is incredibly simple, I don’t deny it – the plot is the main attraction here. What you see in the image above is about as complicated as it gets. What I appreciate, however, is the potential. While it does go untapped, I did get a sense while playing of how the concept could be expanded upon, and how it could be used to create more involved puzzles. For the sake of the plot I can understand why each of the “levels” were kept so simple, but it would have been nice to have an “Arcade Mode”-esque feature, to fully take advantage of the programming. Without it, the game is still enjoyable, but more as a 15 minute distraction than anything else.

Nonetheless I recommend you take those 15 minutes to play the game. It’s a short experience, but due to its brief nature it doesn’t risk outstaying it’s welcome, and manages to stay interesting from start to finish. Give it a chance, and feel free to comment and let me know what you thought of it. 🙂

A link to the game –>