Spoiler: We’re all going to die. Some of us may fall prey to peer pressure that ends with one of us choking to death after being dared to eat a plate of hair, the rest of us will perish when the Andromeda Galaxy collides with the Milky Way and I’m pretty certain I’ll take the wrong turn down a dark alleyway that leads to me being torn apart by ravenous carnies.
Point is, the grim reaper is coming for all of us. What I didn’t expect, was for Death to be a jolly marshmallow of unfiltered joy who arranged for my demise while dancing the night away. In Felix the Reaper, it’s up to you to step into the shoes of the pudgy meatball as he navigates through afterlife and red tape, setting up the karmic wheels for the soon to be deceased as they meet their fate in comically horrific ways.
Felix though, is not like most reapers. He’s an oddball with a Joi de vivre that is constantly expressed through his rhythmic hops across stages that can barely contain his boogie. As an agent for the Ministry of Death, Felix finds himself torn between his love of dance, his courtship of a Ministry of Life agent and his duty to keep the balance between the deceased and the living intact.
To do just that, Felix will often be plucked into a stage where he needs to arrange the puzzle pieces that will soon see an unlucky participant shuffle off this mortal coil. Felix can only move in the shadows, but he’s able to take advantage of time to shift the darkness in 90 degree transitions that allow him to cross the map.
Cloaked in the dead of night and shadow, it’s up to Felix to tango up a solution to a dilemma and see if he can speed up the process of bureaucracy. It’s a neat mix of adventure and puzzle game mechanics, but where Felix the Reaper feels stiffer than a corpse with severe rigor mortis is in just how inflexible it is with its puzzle solutions. Some of them are incredibly obtuse, head-scratchers of the highest order and while there is a hint system available that mechanic is only helpful to a certain point.
Getting from Point A to Point B requires an exact set of movements and actions to activate, with the solution’s rigidity flying in the face of Felix’s carefree attitude. The more you explore the game and its various stages, the more convoluted and complex these puzzles get as Felix reaps a few souls along the way.
That’s not a bad thing at all mind you, as there is a market out there for games that test your grey matter to the extreme. Is it for everyone? Depends on just how often you like feeling like you should be sitting in a corner with the biggest possible dunce cap resting on your noggin. Despite the presence of challenges that would leave the Riddler stumped, it’s hard not to fall in love with Felix the Reaper.
There’s a charm to the squishy fella as he ballroom blitzes through each colourful level, a sense of style and passion that makes you want to explore every world in detail as you realign the gears of spiritual balance. Provided that you don’t dealing with puzzles that’ll vex you long after you’ve kicked the bucket.
A quirky love story of life, death and bureaucracy, Felix the Reaper is as effortlessly charming as it is relentlessly challenging in the puzzle department.
Last Updated: October 14, 2019