Felix The Reaper

Developed By: Kong Orange
Published By: Daedalic Entertainment
Category: Puzzle-Adventure
Release Date: 10.17.2019

Felix The Reaper is a puzzle-adventure title in which you are attempting to complete a set of required events in order to complete the demise of a target. You have powers to freeze and influence the environment around you in order to get the tasks in front of you done, and in the end, they result in someone meeting their maker. Even though the game has dark undertones and themes, it also has a comedic aspect to it that lightens the events up and allows for some romance as well. Dancing your way through this one is an enjoyable experience that is one of the more unique puzzle titles I have had the pleasure of playing through.

This romantic comedy has you taking control of Felix, a field reaper who has taken the job trying to meet up with a girl who he has fallen in love with. Felix works for The Ministry of Death and Betty, the girl he is crushing on, works for The Ministry of Life. Not only has Felix taken a job he isn’t all that fond of in hopes of finding the love of his life in the real world, but he also constantly practices his dance moves in order to try and impress her if they do finally meet up. Narrated by the great Patrick Stewart, you will go on a journey of death and suffering, all while trying to find a slice of hope for poor Felix. Each person you encounter on this journey has a story all their own and from vastly different periods of time, but regardless of what they have going on, it is Felix’s job to ensure they don’t make it much longer.

As you get your field work file and begin the multi-part setup to the deathly conclusion you will be placed in a tile grid in which you will have to move around, while working from the shadows, to get things in their proper places so things occur as they have been decided they should. Being a reaper means you have to stay in the darkness, so that is the main premise for these puzzles. You are given a frozen stage to work with and must manipulate the sun’s direction in order to change up which way the shadows will allow you to move. Then from there you have to grab whatever items or obstacles there are and move them to their final resting place in order to complete each stage of the puzzle. Each locale has several parts to it that need to be completed, from getting a hunter drunk to placing a batch of rocks in the right spot to having a barrel roll down a rickety bridge in order to fulfill the last act. This is just one example of each set of tasks that need to be completed, and each is wholly unique in the story they fulfill. The puzzles themselves aren’t all that challenging, and with hints that can be used with each subsequent move you can really make sure things are completed with ease. The title isn’t really going for difficulty, and instead is looking for a gameplay feature to get you to the real bread and butter — the dark humor and story you are embarking on.

Once you have the hang of how the puzzle systems work, from manipulating the sun and properly moving yourself and objects around the map, you pretty much have everything you need to move through the story. The only other real gameplay feature added in is the addition of win requirements to get skull stamps on your case file at the conclusion of each stage of the puzzles. These include manipulating the sun a certain number of times, the number of tiles you crossed, amount of time you took in total to complete the puzzle and so on. The better you do in each category the more stamps you will earn. This functions much like any other level-based game’s “star” feature but is a bit more difficult. Even though the puzzles are easy to get through, making each of these categories optimal is quite tough. So, for those looking for those tough puzzles this is where you will be able to sink your teeth in.

The art style is cutesy and unique. It reminds me a bit of Baymax from Big Hero 6, with characters having over the top weight and features. Even though the levels seem cartoon inspired, they also have a tinge of the macabre mixed in. For example, the first map has a deer running for his life, but beyond looking like one of the deer from Open Season, he also featured a pretty grisly wound on his side. This adds into the dark themes but being paired with the cartoon aesthetic emphasizes the dark humor. Bloody explosions and gore are also a primo feature of this game and add to the theme concoction going on.

The soundtrack is top notch, featuring tracks from several indie artists, and matches well with Felix’s dance numbers. This allows for the monotony of staring at a puzzle your attempting to solve to have a little bit more flavor. I really enjoyed the music offered here, and the game allows you to check them out on their own as well.

Overall, Felix The Reaper is a mediocre puzzle title with a really great story and unique themes. Although the idea behind the puzzle is a new one, it isn’t something that will give puzzle aficionados any sort of trouble, but the game isn’t trying to get you stuck, it is trying to give you something to do in between the cutscenes. This is a story worth experiencing, and the dark humor hits perfectly from case file to case file. I was glad to have experienced it, regardless of its lacking features when it comes to puzzle titles. I would recommend anyone give this game a shot, puzzle fans or not, as long as you don’t mind a little blood and dark humor.

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*The Switch Effect was provided a code for this game*