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Xbox One Game Review
In this puzzle-platformer you play assistant to mad scientist Professor Splattunfuder - a scientist, inventor and weapons manufacturer of questionable sanity. Nearing the end of his career, he devoted himself to a terrible "recipe book" focused on the death and destruction of his enemies, preferably using the most stylish methods possible. An unfortunate laboratory accident resulted in the destruction of the first draft - now it's down to you to assist him as he starts to piece the fragments back together...
101 Ways to Die is a rather fun puzzle-platform game. Your mission is to aid the evil Professor, who has grown vats full of helpless creatures known as Splatts that he is using to aid him in a range of awful experiments. Using all your murderous creativity, a generous helping of weaponry, a passing knowledge of physics and a large dose of violence to the poor helpless Splatts, you must help the Professor rewrite his classic book of recipes, titled... 101 Ways To Die!
Once you get the hang of the controls, the game is really easy to get to grips with. Each level sees you in a room with one exit and one or more entrances. You have at your disposal a number of traps and weapons and you must place them in such a way that when you release the Splatts (who appear from the entrance doors) that as few as possible actually make it to the exit.
Around the environment are various traps and weapons which you can also use when setting up your moveable armoury. These range from fans (which can propel any nearby Splatts through the air towards bombs or spikes) to cannons that fire projectiles. The Splatts each have their own level of health so sometimes one trap won't kill them outright and you'll need to get a bit more creative.
The gaming area allows you to move around the room as well as zoom in and out (so that you can finely place your traps). You can also toggle on/off a mode that lets you see more clearly where all the traps are.
If I had one issue it was that there was a bit of a learning curve when it came to fathoming out what the objective icons actually meant. For example a level might ask you to kill three Splatts using... (and then an icon represents what you're supposed to use). In the opening stages it' not overly clear what each symbol refers to. But, as you progress through the game everything slots into place.
This game also made me realise that my Xbox One has been set up wrong since it was bought (and looking online this is a very common problem). The safe margins of the screen can't be changed on the game's option menu, and I noticed that some of the text was almost impossible to read. Once I'd figured out how to change the settings (not an overly easy process and the online solutions all seemed to contradict each other) I could finally play the game as intended by the developers.
All in all it's a great puzzle game that will have you scratching your head the further through the levels you progress. For most levels there are more than one solution and this will keep most gamers occupied for quite some time. There are 101 delightfully gory death recipes to unlock and over 50 blood-soaked levels.
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