Death can be a pretty gruesome business to be in, but when you’re in love even the most banal work could put a spring in one’s step. Enter Felix the Reaper, employee for The Ministry of Death, in love with Betty the Maiden and eager to impress.
Acting within the split seconds of a target’s last moments, it is your job to enact destiny. Ensure the demise of those targeted by The Ministry through a lethal hunting accident, a drowning and three other deaths. Once each level is complete, time unfreezes and your manipulations play out.
The Seventh Seal
Felix the Reaper is a puzzle game based upon light and shadow. The aim of each section is to move something from one side of the stage to the other, relying on the shadows to protect you from the light of the sun. Using your trusty Ministry-issued “Sun Master” you can move the sun 90 degrees to move the shadows. Combine this with moving barrels and stacks of branches to help create new shadows and new paths.
The puzzles start simple and very quickly ramp up the difficulty. The demo that I played had 1 death which consisted of five sections, though admittedly the developer noted they haven’t added and tutorials yet. They’ll be a welcome addition when they do, as in their absence the rules of a puzzle aren’t always the most intuitive. It’s often unclear which angle the sun will rotate too, especially after moving the camera a lot to scout the location, and left me confused.
Left out of my demo, but to be added later, are “hardcore elite reaper trainee versions” of levels. Each completed level presented a patchwork of numbers I should have been working towards in order to unlock achievements and harder versions of the levels, including time trial modes (a slightly strange choice for a puzzle game without multiple solutions).
A Dance with Death
Felix’s real charm is in the music and the moves. Developers Kong Orange have commissioned a series of indie musicians to create tracks for the game. They’re all played via Felix’s Walkman which the player has access to in-game, able to see who a given artist is and skip or play whichever track they like. It’s a great selection of down-tempo beats so far, and I’m excited to hear the new tracks added later.
The music is brought to life by Felix dancing along to all of the tracks, with moves choreographed by real dancers and animated in the game. Every movement that our reaper makes is in time to the beat as he dances from one square to the next.
I first saw Felix the Reaper as part of the Indie Arena Booth at Gamescom in 2017 and it’s improved since then but still has some ways to go. I came across a few bugs in my playthrough, but the core idea is solid and the setting is as attractive as Felix is endearing. One for the wishlist.
Follow the game’s progress via its website: https://www.felixthereaper.com/