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|8.0/10 - 2 votes
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|Puzzle Games, 2D Platformer Games, Side Scroller Games
Increasingly It Appears that the only way for game developers to truly explore their medium is to slip out from beneath the duck-feather duvet of commercialism and roll naked onto the shag carpet that is my freeware metaphor. And by "explore their medium", I don't mean mindless and opinionnumbing excursions into poncy "are games art?" territory, I mean stuff like Karoshi 2.0, from the creator of Frozzd.
In it, you seek your own death over and over again - a task which is harder to accomplish than you might imagine. Death occurs through crushing, falling off the screen or touching spikes. These means to your demise are introduced in a straightforward way, but they morph and change to expand beyond your reach, bucking paradigms and shifting goalposts.
Karoshi 2.0 mistreats the player in a hilarious way, tricking you by denying your suicide at the last possible moment The previous game dabbled in clean-cut puzzles, having you push blocks about in such a way as to allow you to bounce a bullet all the way into the back of your head - but the sequel dives right into some of the most fiendish, brain stumping, wrong-minded puzzles imaginable.
Remember when Metal Gear Solid told you to get Meryl's codec frequency off the back of the game box - and you had to go on GameFAQs because you'd bought the game down the market? Karoshi 2.0 dicks about with gaming's fourth wall in much the same way, interacting with you in as many ways as it can.
You begin to distrust the game as it moves onwards, and the means of completing levels become increasingly obtuse and subversive - way more than what you first think the game will be capable of. The whole thing is essentially a running gag, but one whose punchline will constantly take you by surprise. Just persevere through the tougher challenges, as the payoff is worth it.