Death Must Die

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a game by Realm Archive
Platform: PC (2023)
Editor Rating: 7/10, based on 1 review
User Rating: 10.0/10 - 1 vote
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See also: Pixel Art Games, Isometric Games, Hack and Slash Games, Best Roguelike Games, Procedural Generation Games, Bullet Hell Games, Magic Games
Death Must Die
Death Must Die
Death Must Die
Death Must Die

Realm Archive12, an indie game studio based in Helsinki, Finland, has released their debut title Death Must Die. Available now in Early Access, Death Must Die combines elements of action RPGs, bullet hell shooters, and roguelikes to carve out its own niche in the crowded arena survival genre.

Gameplay and Mechanics

Death Must Die puts players in control of one of five playable characters as they face off against waves of enemies inside an arena. Each run brings new challenges as players are tasked with surviving as long as possible against enemies that grow stronger over time. Central to the gameplay is enhancing characters' abilities through temporary buffs bestowed by gods and equipping randomly generated loot to customize playstyles.

Character builds and equipment choices give the game replayability as players experiment to find synergies between gods' blessings, weapons, and character traits that allow different approaches to combat. This flexible character progression encourages experimentation and gives each run the potential to play out differently. However, some reviews note it lacks nuanced character differentiation compared to genre trailblazer Vampire Survivors.

Story and Atmosphere

Beyond its core mechanics, Death Must Die offers more substance through its story and atmosphere. Players take on the role of heroes summoned by The Pension of the Gods to defeat the embodiment of Death. Each hero has their own motivations and backgrounds that are uncovered through discovery in the underworld arena.

Visually, the dark fantasy world is brought to life with luminescent effects and grim yet colorful character designs. Between runs, players can interact with support characters to learn more about the lore. Though basic currently, Realm Archive12 aims to flesh out these narrative elements further. The developing story helps Death Must Die stand apart from mechanically focused roguelikes.

Taking obvious inspiration from genre-defining Vampire Survivors, Death Must Die reaches for more substantial characters and narrative. However, some reviews argue it has not achieved the tight, perfectly balanced gameplay loop that contributed to Vampire Survivors' enduring popularity. While differentiating itself with deeper systems, Death Must Die still needs to polish its mechanics and ensure characters feel meaningfully distinct beyond surface-level weapon types. Realm Archive12 will want to focus on refining these areas to emerge out of the considerable shadow cast by their influential predecessor.

Review: 7/10

While still in Early Access, Death Must Die shows promise as a fresh take on the arena survival format. Its fluid, challenging combat paired with progressive character and equipment systems provide plenty of motivation for repeat playthroughs. Further development of nuanced character identities and a more fleshed out narrative could help it find a devoted fanbase.


Death Must Die is worth considering for fans of roguelike, bullet hell, and action RPG genres looking for a new hybrid experience. Realm Archive12 has demonstrated commitment to community feedback which bodes well for the game's future as more content is added based on early player reactions. With refinement, Death Must Die has the potential to become a mainstay in the competitive indie arena survival space.


  • Tight, challenging gameplay that constantly pushes limits
  • Flexible character progression and equipment customization
  • Immersive atmosphere and developing narrative elements
  • Promising first title from up-and-coming indie studio


  • Basic current story and character identities
  • Lack of nuanced character differentiation in mechanics
  • Limited current content as an early access title

Download Death Must Die


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

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