A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
This is a humorous take on the character of Death, who runs Death Inc., a corporation that processes souls for the afterlife.
Positive Role Models
You play as Death -- a.k.a. the Grim Reaper -- who uses a scythe and several other weapons to do some "corporate restructuring" within the organization. While tongue-in-cheek, Death does attack and kill these (er, undead) employees in various ways.
Ease of Play
Have a Nice Death can get quite challenging, as the difficulty amps up over time and the levels are procedurally generated, therefore you can't memorize the environment to your advantage.
Violence & Scariness
While satirical and cartoon-like, the game is quite violent and sometimes scary. Even in the opening cinematic movie, Death kills humans in various ways, including striking down a man in front of his young daughter. A disclaimer at the start of the game also warns about potentially disturbing themes like suicide, addiction, and harassment. There's some blood, but no gore.
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The word "Hell" is in this game.
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Products & Purchases
While a digital artbook is available for free, gamers can purchase the official soundtrack as DLC (downloadable content), which contains 40 songs.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Have A Nice Death is a downloadable action adventure game for Windows PCs and the Nintendo Switch. This is a satirical take on Death (the Grim Reaper) who attacks and (re)kills the lazy employees who work at his company, Death Incorporated, in the afterlife. Using a scythe and other weapons, you can hack and slash against several enemies. Plus, there is a potentially disturbing intro cutscene video that show Death killing humans -- in one instance, taking the life of a man in front of his young daughter. There is violence and blood but not gore, and all graphics are cartoon-like.
Is It Any Good?
This is a funny and challenging single-player romp that ought to keep you glued to the screen for several hours on end. Have a Nice Death is an imaginative, fast-paced spin on roguelike action that packs a serious punch when you're in the thick of it, especially with the unlockable and upgradeable weapons and abilities to unleash on a bizarre cast of characters. You'll eventually have access to elevators which can help streamline some of the navigation, too (and skip directly to some very tough mini-boss and big boss characters). But even though the levels are procedurally generated -- meaning no two environments, its inhabitants, or its items, like food and currency ("Soulery" and "Prismium") will be placed the same for all players -- the appeal starts to wane a little after a few frantic rounds. This is especially true after "dying," which really means restarting from your paper-stacked office.
Overall, though, Have a Nice Death is full of character and charm, and excellent production values, including smoothly animated (and memorable) characters, like "Sorrows" and "Thanagers," and an exceptional music soundtrack. The first thing players will likely appreciate is the long list of scythes and other (secondary) weapons and spells you can take advantage of, with many tied to a particular department you're in, which is also tied to a different means of dying (without spoiling any surprises for you). As for weapons, there are more than 30, but there aren't as many defensive moves or maneuvers, so it could be quite the work to defeat some bosses. And you are sent back to your office and have to start again, you don't get to keep everything you "died" with, making it even more difficult. Leveling up isn't so rewarding, too, with sometimes very little to gain.Despite some issues, Have a Nice Death is a great game, and if you like dark humor and difficult battles, you'll no doubt have a blast in this fast-based afterlife brawler.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.