The Nintendo Switch really has managed to carve out a niche for itself in the gaming market. Steam remains so utterly polluted with trash that it leaves consumers to delve into filthy asset flips and overpriced DLC to find a game worth playing, yet the Nindies are thriving. Suicide Guy is the latest indie game to make its way onto the Nintendo eShop and with some time to kill on my morning commute, I got to grips with the puzzler.
The product of Italy’s Fabio Ferrara, Suicide Guy comes to the Nintendo switch courtesy of publisher Chubby Pixel and certainly has a unique premise. Set in the dream world of its protagonist, players must guide his hefty frame around a number of puzzles in order to escape slumber and save his beer. Suicide Guy is definitely a different take on the traditional puzzle game, however. Rather than simply escape a maze of misfortune, Suicide Guy’s rather morbid mission seems to play fast and loose with the concept of survival that we are all accustomed to. The only way to snap our hero out of this daydream is to kill him in it, repeatedly.
Thankfully, there is little chance that you will stumble across Freddy Krueger in your own dreamscape and Suicide Guy’s super silly attempts to twist the puzzle genre are certainly bright. Graphics are a typical bright template that many indie developers seem to utilize and the solid sweeps of color are a nice accompaniment to a varied arrangement of breezy tunes, all of which could have come straight from the Acme Saturday morning handbook of cartoon violence. The irreverent attitude to death continues throughout the game with some outlandish death sequences, as well as a few more nods to pop culture. Giant robots, the unforgiving fires of a gigantic star, and a runaway train are just some of the ways the game’s own Looney Tune manages to make it out of each level, while everything Indiana Jones, to Star Trek, and Portal get a mention.
Players who stumble through the range of dreams that make up Suicide Guy will find a set of controls that are straightforward. The first person approach allows players to push the protagonist around using an obvious selection of JoyCon controls and interact with a few particular objects. The range of interaction is, overall fairly limited, pulling blocks, pushing buttons, and pulling levels for the most part. While this is not necessarily a problem, things can feel more than a little linear.
It is the reference to Portal which most pointedly draws comparisons between this attempt at tragedy and a truly classic brain teaser. While Portal, and Portal 2, build together simple mechanics, to create deeply layered puzzles. Suicide Guy’s riff on Portal is a one trick affair. Equally, the rest of the puzzles feel extremely linear. There is little to the game outside of push a button, move forward, pull a lever, and utilize the nearest object. Very little forethought is required when navigating each dream and solutions are generally presented with little to no preamble. Levels will take a few minutes at most and do not feel like they are particularly satisfying.