Reviewed by Thomas
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Suicide Guy is a first person indie puzzle game by Fabio Ferrara. I often saw this game in the eShop and with a name like Suicide Guy it stands out from the rest of the titles. With such a bleak name highlighting a catastrophic event in too many lives I always skipped over it without second thought. When I was given the game to review I decided to start by reading the eShop definition. I had to know what I was getting into, and if I would let my children participate. Stated at the bottom of the eShop description is “Despite the title, the game is NOT at all about suicide or depression.” And judging from the cartoonish looks and Teen rating, I agreed to let my kids participate in Suicide Guy.
Hold My Beer
Suicide Guy starts with a story we’re all familiar with. An average guy sitting on an average couch enjoying the average pastime of watching an average television. This isn’t the heroic tale of a man being pushed beyond his limits to save the world from annihilation. This story hits closer to home and we’ve all lived it to a degree.
Suicide Guy is living his best life with ketchup stains on his shirt and beer in hand. After a long weekend of a tough job he just wants to relax. I can relate to the drowsiness of sitting in front of the television and zoning out. That’s exactly what happens to our average Joe. He promptly falls asleep and knocks his beer off the couch. The premise of Suicide Guy is that you have to wake yourself up before your precious bottle hits the floor. Thus the concept of killing yourself comes in play. You are merely in a dream state trying to shake yourself awake in unique grotesque ways.
To Perform Inception You Need Imagination
Suicide Guy is an adventure puzzle game from the perspective of the protagonist. The boards are presented as tables in a diner. Each table depicts a fraction of a deeper dream state. There are 25 levels to solve with varied and unique experiences. You’ll encounter ordinary everyday scenarios to bizarre situations. Each puzzle increases in difficulty and you have to think of out of the box solutions to solve the challenges. The levels themselves are short and after some trial and error, fairly easy to complete. Suicide Guy doesn’t hold your hand and tell you what to do. Experimentation is part of the fun as you learn how you can interact and impact each environment. With the addition of collectibles you have more to look for than just a means to your end. The controls are sluggish and unsurprising, our average Joe’s pace matches his lazy lifestyle.
As each level played out, I couldn’t shake the uneasy feeling I had with the core concept. Though most boards were outlandish and impossible to attempt in our realm of existence some were too close to home. For example, my son was trapped in a spaceship and had to pilot the craft into a nearby star. My daughter had to find a way to trick a tyrannosaurus rex into devouring our sloppy avatar. Those levels were fine and creatively designed. Then there was a level where you start next to a bathtub. In my mind I hoped there was some offthewall bizarre twist for ending the level and Suicide Guy’s dream. I was disappointed to see my daughter get into a tub of water and drop the radio bringing about the inevitable electrocution. Though the game itself attempts to separate fantasy from reality by using harmless dreams, it was still difficult to watch some of the ways you self sabotage.
Let the Music Take Over Everything
I’m glad the developer used cartoonish graphics for Suicide Guy as it helps with separation of the reality of a dark and personal topic which a lot of people face in life. The lack of blood and gore was welcome. Once you carry out the end of a dream sequence and meet your demise, everything goes dark and keeps the gruesome details at bay.
The music was pleasant on most levels and I only turned off the radio once. I found it clever using a radio that you could turn off or on in each level to control the music. You can carry the radio with you if you’d like to rock out to loud tunes or you could throw it in the corner and let the sound drift off as you distance yourself from it.
Begin Docking Procedure
Suicide Guy for Nintendo Switch ran well in docked mode. The clunky controls and sluggish pace of the protagonist were not technical limitations of the game. While docked, that never caused a problem in playability even if it was slightly inconvenient. Handheld mode was a different story. Puzzles which required speed or precision, handheld mode did not mesh well with the cumbersome controls. I attempted three puzzles in handheld and gave up each time, opting to dock my Switch and complete them.
The nature of suicide made me question this game despite it’s innocent narrative. I didn’t play every board with my children but when I did, it made me uncomfortable. In the aforementioned example where my daughter electrocuted Suicide Guy in his bathtub, I told her it was time for a break. When I went to see what she was doing following that interaction I watched her gun down another player in Fortnite with skill and accuracy. It was at that point I had to ask myself why I unquestioningly allow one type of violence from games but not another? I frequently talk with my children about violence in video games and repercussions in real life. Maybe I was uncomfortable because suicide is a topic people don’t talk about openly? Perhaps this is a good opportunity to have an open discussion about mental health and the consequences of self harm.
USA – https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ 1-800-273-8255
Uk – the samaritans – 116 123
My Children’s Two Cents
All three of my children really enjoyed Suicide Guy and continually asked to play it. They shared turns and enjoyed it for what I believe the developer was aiming for. A quirky and colorful puzzle game which places you in fantastical situations.
- Challenging Puzzles
- Creative Levels
- Simple Premise
- Cumbersome Controls
- Short Levels
- Complex Theme