Game Review: Death’s Door

By Dave Jamieson
By May 8, 2022 Game, Reviews

A charming and challenging action adventure. Heavy notes of classic Zelda action and filled to the brim with delicately placed secrets and shortcuts. I absolutely loved this game. A tiny soul hunting crow, brilliant visuals and a killer soundtrack to boot.

You get off the bus, arrive at your floating melancholy office and have a chat with an equally melancholy employee. Simply put, they explain that you’re a reaper, and it’s time to get hunting. You grab your assignment, head towards the massive door, and an action packed isometric adventure awaits.

The level design is fantastic, although sometimes it did get a little confusing. Sprawling hillsides littered with monsters, ledges and ladders just out of reach. Not having a map was something I struggled with a little. I’d find myself running in circles only to pass back at the top of a ladder I’d seen far earlier in my weary attempts at navigating the level. However, this only added to my satisfaction when I would eventually solve the puzzle and finally open up the massive gate that had been staring me down for a while. Despite being an isometric game, Death’s Door uses its 3D space well, hiding secrets and collectables behind hidden corners and through secret areas hiding in plain sight. This did mean that I was constantly looking for secrets everywhere, rolling blindly into every tree, bookshelf or old lady I could find.

The game doesn’t throw too much at you, not initially at least. The difficulty slowly creeps up as you beat bosses and power yourself up by spending your hard earned souls. You can choose to improve the stats that lean towards your type of gameplay: quicker attacks, better magic, better dodges. Our tiny reaper eventually gains access to a variety of tools, as well as a selection of swords and blades (or an umbrella) each with their own play-style. A classic bow, deadly bombs, magical fire and my personal favourite, an awesome hook shot. The only thing missing, aside from a tiny green tunic, is a boomerang. These tools are essential to becoming a kick-ass soul reaping crow.

The soaring epic melodies that fill the distinctive lands are both sad and comforting. But the music really shines in the boss fights. Swelling and cascading in tandem with the action really created some captivating and memorable boss fights. The unique array of characters only adds to the special charm that Death’s Door brings and considering it’s a game about death, it’s pretty damn funny. The tone and humour are consistent throughout and only further fuelled my love for this game. The short, punchy and usually humorous dialogue helps keep the story progressing without slowing down the pacing of the game.

It feels sad and warm. It’s a short and sweet adventure brimming with heart. It manages to walk that sweet spot of being challenging, engaging and fun. I didn’t even get annoyed at the DEATH screen.. honest.

Words: Dave Jamieson 

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