The general rule across the majority of video games is that if you have a squad of warriors at your disposal, you’ll want to try to make it to the end of the game with as many of them kept safely in one piece as possible. LifeGoesOn, the puzzler from Gamepoch, throws this gaming convention straight out of the window.
The aim of the game is to guide your valiant knight through a level to collect the goblet that will secure your safe passage to the next stage. Along the way you’ll be hitting switches, hitching a ride on moving platforms and dodging some death-inducing booby traps. But, oddly enough, at some stages you’ll actually be trying to have your knight meet their doom at the hands of these hazards.
Each of the knights is of a new description and the game has individually allocated each of them with a noble sounding name, but you’d do well not to form an attachment with any of them. That’s because the trick to solving each of LifeGoesOn’s puzzling levels is that you need to tactically sacrifice your squad members to ensure that a subsequent character can reach the finish.
This may all sound rather strange, but its execution – pardon the pun – is rather clever. If you find yourself confronted with a towering wall with spikes jutting out from it, you’ll need to launch your knight head-first towards the spikes. While they may (read: will) get impaled, their carcass will remain attached to the spikes at the point of contact, meaning when a new knight spawns, they can then use the deceased knight as a platform from which to wall-jump up. You’ll need to repeat the process with further knights depending on the height of the wall you’re trying to scale, and the process is the same for horizontal platforms featuring spikes as well.
Elsewhere in this puzzling offering, you might find incessant flames which can only be avoided by flicking off a switch elsewhere in the stage – it might even be directly underneath the flames. So how would you flick the switch if you can’t actually reach it? Again the answer it to make use of fallen comrades. You might find a rotating saw above a switch which you’ll just have to leap into and plan it so the carcass falls onto the switch below, and then have the next warrior skip gleefully through. Alternatively, spawn points are blue stands which can be activated simply by walking through them – tactically walking through a particular spawn point and then pushing a switch to have it move beyond the flames it something which requires some prior thinking, but has the player feel quite clever when they pull it off. Walking into flames will totally incinerate a character, so is of no use when it comes to having them press switches, but there’s always another way.
So, most levels in LifeGoesOn quickly become a quite macabre looking graveyard of fallen heroes. Once you’ve played through the first few levels you’re pretty much prepared for the rest of the game, but if you enjoy it there are loads of levels for your money here. One of the Switch’s more unique puzzlers, this is worth a look.
LifeGoesOn offers some thought provoking puzzling in amongst its mass-suicide. Levels do start feeling a bit samey as you get through it, but it’s certainly worth a try.