Death’s Door is an indie masterpiece

The captivating “Death’s Door” initially launched on July 20, 2021, to PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. However, it was later released to the Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4 & 5 on Nov. 23, allowing more players to experience this captivating game. It retails for $19.99. 

The praise “Death’s Door” has received is definitely well-deserved. Developed by Acid Nerve, the indie title earned widespread critical acclaim and was one of the highest-rated video games to come out in 2021. It was even nominated for Best Independent Game in The Game Awards. 

In “Death’s Door,” you play as a crow, reaping souls of the dead. The job gets a bit tricky though after the soul you were supposed to collect is stolen and “you must track down a desperate thief to a realm untouched by death – where creatures grow far past their expiry and overflow with greed and power,” as stated in the game’s bio on nintendo.com.

The job as a soul reaper is framed as a pretty mundane task for the crows; however, it is an incredible experience for the player.

“Death’s Door” challenges players with unique puzzles and boss fights, keeping the game from being a walk in the park. Even though it may take a few tries to beat a boss fight, the game stays entertaining and doesn’t feel frustrating. Before a boss comes up, there is always a save point shortly before it, keeping players from having to run back to the boss and instead allowing them to focus on learning the boss’s attack patterns.

Every area of “Death’s Door” introduces new mechanics and feels vastly different from one another, keeping the player engaged and avoiding any sense of repetitiveness or grinding that many similar RPG games have. 

“Death’s Door” has a unique combat and health system, keeping the game from feeling too easy. The game controls smoothly, allowing players to time attacks and dodges perfectly. You can take four hits before dying and only replenish your health bar at flower pots found throughout the map.

To make the flower pots functional, you must plant a flower seed in them; consuming the flower once it blooms will fully restore your health. The number of seeds available to plant is dependent on how thoroughly someone explores the area. 

As for the combat system, players are limited to only four ranged attacks. Players need to hit a successful melee attack to refill the ranged attacks. For each successful melee attack, one ranged attack bar will refill.

These systems keep you aware of your surroundings but don’t make the game so complex that it feels impossible to beat. 

Besides fun and unique gameplay mechanics, “Death’s Door” also has a great art style. The graphics help convey the whimsical nature of the game, with unique character designs for both friends you meet along the way and the various enemies and bosses. 

The soundtrack compliments each area of the game nicely. It has a dynamic range, from softer piano music accompanying the player while exploring to epic boss music to empower the player against their foes. The music suits each area of the game ideally and truly adds to the experience as a whole while also sounding amazing on its own. 

Overall, “Death’s Door” is a fantastic experience and worth picking up. From a one-of-a-kind art style to beautiful music and unique gameplay features, “Death’s Door” has it all. This game is a fantastic example of what can be done with such a small team.

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