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Life Eater

Strange Scaffold, Frosty Pop
Apr 16, 2024 - PC

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3 / 5
5.5 / 10
Checkpoint Gaming
6.5 / 10
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Screen Rant
3.5 / 5
video games are good
7.5 / 10
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Life Eater Trailers

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Life Eater Screenshots

Critic Reviews for Life Eater

Mechanically, Life Eater uses a diary-based puzzle system in some really interesting ways, but it struggles to say anything meaningful about the shock-factor setting it's gone for.

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Life Eater feels like an experiment that neither fizzled nor exploded. All the parts are there, but they don’t fit together quite right. Something is missing, and before that something was located, it was released into the wild as-is. Because it can’t find its effectiveness, the central concept that should be so compelling and disturbing is just kind of fluffy. If an apathetic detachment from ritual sacrifice was what Life Eater was aiming for, then it nailed it. Unfortunately.

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Life Eater is a game I'm a little sad I can't rate on concept and premise alone. Snooping through timelines of activities of potential targets and investigating tidbits to try and correctly take down those requested is good on paper, offering the same highs of franchises such as Hitman. However, its execution is a little underbaked. The qualifiers for targets are equally too vague and too simple with little variety, leading to friction and distrust about whether or not you're on the right track. There is quality design in the way you're managing meters to avoid suspicion and maximising your time, along with some stellar returning performances from the likes of Xalavier Nelson Jr. However, Life Eater needed a little more time bunkering down, taking notes, and just getting every little thing right. The perfect hunt it is not.

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While I was undeniably a little disappointed after going into this with high expectations, it's a very unique game that offers an interesting experience once you accept that it's a much smaller project.

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In Life Eater, this manifests through its interesting stalking mechanic and the Strange Scaffold staple of an exemplary script.

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Life Eater provides something quite different from anything else available, and will likely live long in the memory. For that reason, even in spite of its faults, it's probably worth a try for anyone with even a cursory interest in horror or new ways for games to tell their stories.

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Life Eater is the kind of game that comes with a lot of ifs. If you're able to buy into its disturbing narrative, if you're okay with abstract systems-driven storytelling, if you're okay with short and easy... then sign up! And if you are able to embrace all of that, you could come away with it being one of your favorite experiences of the year. If even one piece doesn't click for you though, the house of cards starts to fall apart. For me, it almost put all the pieces together. Its narrative stunned me, but it was over in a blink. Its gameplay systems build a fantastic foundation but never quite find that cohesion I'm used to from the team. But when Strange Scaffold only half-clicks you still come out the other end with one of the most original games of the year, one of the strongest narratives of the year, and almost definitely the best kidnapping sim ever released.

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