Death and Taxes: Great, Good, Decent


I write often of my exploits with Humble Bundle. Many are the games that I discovered through their generous bundles. Also, many are the programming books that I used to expand my repetoire and learn more about coding, just in case. Honestly, though, so many are the games I never played and the books I forgot I ordered. That never stopped me from learning about and ordering from another bundle page. And, so I found Death and Taxes.

You may think that because we went to Germany that I won’t update the page regularly. Especially since nothing posted since my review of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3. I set up the page to auto post first this article and then three more over the next couple of weeks to keep the page active and in your brain space, if you’re a fan. Let’s kick of celebrating indie gaming in July with this article.

The Decent

Limited Gameplay: I give them credit for putting as much into the game as they did. However, even with the added elements, it ultimately boils down simply to sitting in your office, receiving a dossier of people to live and die, and then choosing who actually lives or dies. If that sounds boring, well, that’s the whole point. THe game takes the job of grim reaper and makes it mid-level management hell.

What? re: Controls: I watched through the introduction comic (more onthat in a minute). Even though I don’t usually, I even paid attention during the introduction during the tutorial levels. Even so, it took me some trial and error to figure out how to move the elevator from level to level. Believe it or not, that’s a crucial skill in the game.

The Good

Introduction Comic: As one of the last few people who enjoy comics. I saw an article again the other day saying something along the lines of comics dying. Now, Chris and I pronounced them dead more than once. But, like the titular Marvel Zombies of lore past, they keep coming back. Well, Death and Taxes gives you the skinny on how to play the game and the back story through an engaging interactive comic.

Humor: In spite of the serious nature of deciding if people live or die, the game provides a light hearted approach to delivering that fate. More than once, I found myself laughing out loud at the dialogue or description of a person’s life.

The Great

Voice Acting: I never expected thegame to contain any voice acting. That it did and the acting was some of the best I’ve heard in a game impressed me. All characters have their own unique voice that gives the game a life that it wouldn’t otherwise have. I commend the designers for this choice and am glad they pulled it off.

Moral Dilemma: I might be taking this game too seriously, but I find myself faced with a genuine moral dilemma every time I get the dossiers and start reading their stories. Sometimes the requirements tip their hands when it comes to who dies. Other times, it leaves it up to you to wrestle with your own beliefs and what you think the game wants you to do in order to make a decision. Again, masterfully done.

The Verdict

I came into the game expecting a certain game based on reviews that I read. However, Death and Taxes exceeded those expectations, whatever they were. Having only played through the tutorial, I want to finish it first and then discover if there are alternate endings. I assure you that they exist. Can’t wait to see them.

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