I can't tell you why Sometimes You Die is so great
"Unique" is an overused word these days, and every game on the App Store wants you to believe it's like nothing you've ever played before, no matter how similar it is to every other app out there. Sometimes You Die doesn't really have to worry about that though, because its entire premise is based around the fact that it's less of a game and more of an exercise in thought. And yes, I promise you've never played something like this before.
The mechanics of the game are familiar platformer fare: You control a small block that must navigate a bare-bones world consisting of either flat surfaces or spikes. Flat surfaces are safe, spikes and spinning blocks will kill you. That's it, for 9 chapters.
Where Sometimes You Die changes things up is in how it interacts with you, the player. From the very start, the game actively engages you with text and voice, asking questions and at times mocking you. It challenges you to define what a "game" really is, and what it means to have fun. It reminds you how silly it is that you, as a player, form instant expectations of how a game will treat you.
But the best part about the game, however, is that the real game only begins after you've beaten all 9 chapters. The levels fly by in quick succession and before you know it, you're at the end. Or at least what you think is the end. Saying anything more would both spoil the game's biggest trick and ruin its appeal right from the start. I promise you that you'll be glad I'm stopping right now.
The game is US$1.99, which isn't the easiest sell alongside free-to-play behemoths, but for a gaming experience you've never had before it's more than worth it. Play it, and love it.
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