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Community Article: Indie Insights - Death Squared

Written by John Edwards

It's that time of year again where we gather together and hope nobody suggests we play Monopoly. Fortunately, video games exist and it's a brilliant idea to suggest you play some of them instead of arguing over who gets to play as the dog or sitting listlessly as the last two people with any money go around the board for the next hour.

So instead of falling out with friends and family over Monopoly, I suggest you fall out with friends and family over Death Squared.

It has the tremendous benefit of only needing to use the control stick to play so there's no need to patiently explain which is the X button over and over. "No that's the R button, not the R trigger" and so on. This means that anyone can get in on the pain and suffering with minimal effort.

Death Squared is centred around a Portal-esque environment as a computer puts you through various testing rooms. There are amusing interludes between the tester David and the computer during loading screens and snippets of commentary while playing the levels.

The aim of the levels is to get coloured cubes to the same colour circles, once all the cubes are in place you finish the level. But obviously, along the way there are hindrances otherwise it'd be a bit easy. There are moving blocks, spikes that appear when switches are activated, blocks that can only be passed with the right colour and lasers which will destroy blocks that aren't the same colour.

Levels start to become dances as you need to move your cubes around the environment in the right order or direction to coordinate the traps and paths to victory. Or if you're playing with other people, a chance to nudge them off a narrow walkway as pay back to them frying you with a laser on the level before.

Cooperation has a tendency to descend into retribution at the drop of a hat in Death Squared. But it is tremendously fun throughout. Levels reset straight away so revenge is a dish best served immediately.

You can customise your cube with a variety of hats and patterns because it's even funnier pushing someone into the abyss if you have a poo or fried egg on your head. There's also a colour blind option for people who might have trouble with the standard colours.

The Switch makes couch co-op gaming a lot easier with it having two joy-con right out of the box. As Death Squared needs just the analogue sticks it also avoids the issue of the slightly fiddly buttons of using a single joy-con. This means with very little effort you can get multiplayer fun going with minimal effort but with just as much bitter rivalry as Monopoly engenders which in the end is just what you want from festive entertainment.