Every religion and media outlet has a different idea on what ‘Death’ looks like. Some depict it as a shadowy figure that walks round with a giant scythe, some believe it’s a demonic angel of death, and some even believe it to be a feral exaggeration of their old chemistry teacher. But has anyone ever envisioned Death to be a fat, camp, skeletal disco dancer before? Well Kong Orange have, and now I no longer fear the idea of death, becomes it seems like bloody good fun.
Felix the Reaper is a brand new adventure puzzler where you take the usual barbaric act of murder, and make it into a beautiful and elegant piece of contemporary dance. Working as one of many employees at the Ministry of Death, Felix is on a quest to not only set up the gruesome deaths of 5 human beings, but to gain adoration from Betty the Maiden, a spirit at the Ministry of Life who he wishes to impress with his dancing. Through a range of majestic leaps, body rolls and side shuffles, players must guide Felix through the shadows and administer a chain of events that will eventually lead to a satisfying death. Because Death naturally lurks in the darkness, Felix must too, so players must use the sun and it’s casting shadows to navigate around the playground to avoid the sun light and manoeuvre around natural obstacles. Felix the Reaper is an incredibly unique puzzler where even the premise is unlike anything I’ve played before, so one can only hope that it is as challenging as it is daft.
From what I’ve played thus far it certainly seems like it’s more than just a bizarre concept, as even in the demo I found myself scratching my skull. Beneath this hysterical, flamboyant humour is a terribly clever and greatly original puzzle game that can deliver a tremendous level of difficulty within such a small confinement. What it does so well is leading you to believe you’re playing a simple and silly game, what with its small, almost barren play ground populated by wonderfully grotesque beings, but that laughter soon turns into cries for help once it senses that you’re comfortable; the mantra to a perfect puzzle game in my opinion. Though I wasn’t able to delve deeply into them, Felix the Reaper seems to feature secondary objectives and challenges, tasking players with completing each puzzle in record time, limited exposures to sunlight or potentially by doing or finding something oddly specific. In my limited preview build I was warned about the lack of instruction or guidance, however at least half of the game will still remain a surprise to me, so I thoroughly look forward to uncovering secrets and secondary objectives upon the full release.
Even in its early stages Felix the Reaper feels like a joy to behold, and as clear as day (or as black as night I should say), it will truly take Kong Orange to new heights. Considering the sheer level of creativity and effort that has gone into creating this peculiar puzzler (even motion capturing actual dancers), there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the challenging puzzles will follow suit, accurately representing the obvious talent radiating from the studio. There’s clearly more than meets the eye here, so I eagerly await with bated breath and pointed toes for the full release coming later this year.