iLounge Game Spotlight: Sometimes You Die
Sometimes You Die ($2) is a new minimalist puzzler/side scroller from Philipp Stollenmayer. Unlike most games, in which a player’s death is usually a setback, Sometimes You Die lets players benefit from dying. Many of the puzzles seem to require such sacrifices.
It’s clear from the very beginning that Sometimes You Die is a different kind of side scroller. Players use onscreen controls to move a simple boxed cursor — a greater-than/less-than symbol — through dark levels with ominous music, voiceovers, and omnipresent typography. You can move left, right, and jump. Some players may linger on the words in the background longer than others, as Sometimes You Die attempts to make you question basic tenants of gaming as you’re zipping and jumping around. The animation is sparse but smooth.
It probably won’t surprise gamers to find out that dying is central to Sometimes You Die. When your character hits a spike, it dies, but its “corpse” remains. Players can then use those dead blocks as platforms or to block moving spiky balls. Dying is a fundamental part of advancing through many levels, and it often offers players a variety of solutions. Your instincts of keeping your character alive quickly fade away. The gameplay isn’t just creative — it’s fun and addictive.
Sometimes You Die gets more challenging as it progresses, as initial easy levels give way to sections that will likely require a fair share of retries. Players can hit the redo button in the upper left part of the screen to start a section over again. Late in the game, Sometimes You Die has a streak of sections designed to mess with players’ heads — we’d reveal more, but the surprises are too sublime. If you’re not frustrated, you’ll laugh and appreciate the ingenuity involved.
On the downside, Sometimes You Die is a fairly short game. We whizzed through it quickly, though mostly because we couldn’t put it down. Players might also get sick of the music. It sets the mood, but it’s repetitive, and it starts to wear on you after a while. We turned it down before reaching the end.
All things considered, these drawbacks are rather insignificant, especially when considering the “hidden content” we’ve yet to see. We think we know how to reach it, but it’s going to require playing through levels again. Are we willing to do that? In the case of Sometimes You Die, yes. We can see players giving this game a number of replays and wanting to watch their friends experience the game, too. Sometimes You Die is a clever, original game that most players should find well worth the $2 price tag.
iLounge Rating: A-
- The LEGO Movie Video Game, Rocket Cars, SpongeBob: Sponge on the Run, 1Password 5.2 + more
- NimbleBit announces Apple Watch support for Letterpad
- Be My Eyes, GoodReader 4.8, MacID, Multifly + more
- Monument Valley infographic reveals revenue, other stats from hit game
- AllCast, Google Classroom, Google Maps 4.2, Peg + Cat: The Tree Problem + more
- Apple announces 64-bit and iOS 8 requirements for app updates
If you have a comment, news tip, advertising inquiry, or coverage request, a question about iPods/iPhones/iPad or accessories, or if you sell or market iPod/iPhone/iPad products or services, read iLounge's Comments + Questions policies before posting, and fully identify yourself if you do. We will delete comments containing advertising, astroturfing, trolling, personal attacks, offensive language, or other objectionable content, then ban and/or publicly identify violators.
- Verizon to allow users to opt out of web tracking ‘supercookies’
- Apple releases iTunes 12.1 update, adds Notification Center widget
- Chinese Government may require Apple to build ‘back door’ into iPhones
- Notes from Apple’s Q1 2015 earnings call
- Cook: Apple Watch shipping in April
- Apple Q1 2015: Record $74.6B revenue, 74.5M iPhones, 24.4M iPads
- Apple Pay support coming to more vending machines, kiosks, parking meters
- Apple releases iOS 8.1.3
- Apple TV adds 120 Sports channel
- Report: Bank verification methods leave Apple Pay vulnerable to fraud
- RooCase ORB Tablet System
- Harman Kardon Soho Wireless Headphones
- Odoyo Power+Shell EX Rechargeable Battery Case for iPhone 6
- Patriot Memory Fuel iON Magnetic Charging Case with Charging Pad for iPhone 6
- Lenmar Maven Battery Case for iPhone 6
- STM Studio for iPad Air 2
- VSN Mobil V.360 Camera
- Booq Booqpad for iPad Air 2
- Incipio offGRID Express for iPhone 6
- Incipio Tuxen for iPad Air 2
- How do I turn off Reachability on the iPhone 6 Plus?
- How do I get a phone number on iMessage?
- Can I share in-app subscriptions among family members?
- Can I cancel or ‘unsend’ sent iMessages?
- Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Apple’s HomeKit
- Reorganizing files in the iTunes Media Folder
- Exchange text messages between two iPhones with no cellular data plan
- The Booths of the iProducts Marketplace at CES 2015
- Hands-on with CarPlay at CES 2015
- iLounge announces its CES 2015 Best of Show Awards