Top Critic Average
Death by Game Show has a lot of style, and is a pretty fun take on the tower defence formula. Learning and understanding its new rules, offers a lot of early challenge and enjoyment while teaching everything in a non-obtrusive manner. The problems come in that many things carry over from level to level with no way to get many of the necessary items back if they are lost, which makes some levels truly impossible to beat when the protagonist gets overran. However, as long as the buildings are not lost many levels are simply ploughed over. This extreme divergence is the most pressing issue of an overall decent title.
A lack of variety and a bit of polish on the mechanics leaves the game feeling less like a release and more like a well-made flash game you might find online. With a difficulty rating that shoots sky-high in relatively little time, this is a game that only the hardest of hardcore players will complete and enjoy to its full potential.
Death by Game Show is not an incompetently made game, but as a collection of design decisions the sum and its individual parts are annoying, disappointing or frustrating.
Oointah have tried to make a game which does something a little different, but haven't really brought all the factors together properly. Mixing a fast paced and strategy with brutal difficulty is a challenge in itself, and making that fun or appealing even more so. Death by Game Show loses that appeal quickly by following the same basic gameplay throughout while punishing the player for even the smallest of mistakes. If you like tough games then this is for you, but fans of strategy or tower defence have much better options available to them.
Playing it was a trial for me every time I fired it up – the firehose of outdated pop culture references and toilet humor made me feel like Alex DeLarge undergoing the Ludovico Technique in A Clockwork Orange. Should I ever find myself on stage for a robot game show in the 26th century, I'll opt for lethal injection instead.