Death’s Hangover
Gameplay 7
Graphics 8
Sound 7

Help Death take back the souls stolen by Bastard Dracula in this Breakout-style game by Retro Army Limited. It features plenty of different levels, useful power-ups, and some big bosses. The game is easy to pick up and play, but finding all the souls can be challenging. The eighteen different endings, two-player mode, and level editor boost the replay value, though, and overall, the game is a decent choice for fans of the genre.

Gameplay: The game is challenging and entertaining.

Graphics: The pixel art visuals of Death’s Hangover look great.

Sound: The audio features decent sound effects and music

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Death’s Hangover

Developer: Retro Army Limited | Publisher: paulstephendavis | Release Date: 2017 | Genre: Action / Casual / Indie | Website: N/A | Purchase: Steam

One day, Death wakes up with a hangover and discovers that he has been robbed of his soul by Bastard Dracula. Not willing to let something like this slide, Death summons two souls and gives them new bodies to travel to Bastard Dracula’s castle and retrieve the stolen goods. Unfortunately for Death, the two souls, Andy and Bob, are not very bright. However, with the threat of Death killing them all over again if they fail, Andy and Bob take on the perils of Bastard Dracula’s castle.

Death’s Hangover is the work of Retro Army Limited and features the same style of pixel art visuals and slightly questionable humor found in their other games. The gameplay of this title is based on classic bat and ball games such as Arkanoid and Breakout. In this case, the bat is actually a large mattress held by Andy, and the ball is Bob encased in some spiky shell. Unlike most games in this genre, the goal is not to clear the screen of all the bricks. Instead, players must smash down the doors to exit each room of the castle. Occasionally, there are rooms where the doors only open after a certain number of enemies are killed, while other rooms are home to the captive souls that must be freed. At the end of each area, there is also a giant boss for Andy and Bob to defeat before they can continue with their quest.

Death’s Hangover features nearly 100 rooms to conquer, but not all can be completed in one sitting. Instead, the castle is divided into different areas, such as the catacombs, dungeon, sewers, monastery, furnace, arena, and church. Simply bashing down all the doors will take players through a specific route in the castle, but finding the hidden keys inside some of the breakable blocks will open up an alternate secret route. This gives the game some replay value, especially as collecting all the souls without accidentally leaving a room can be tricky.

Players have limited lives but can spend their collected souls on the “Cheat Death” wheel if they run out. The wheel allows players to continue in the room where they died and might even throw in a power-up depending on their luck.

However, if players run out of souls upon death, it’s back to the start of the area. Don’t be too wasteful with those collected souls, as you need at least four of them to progress to the game’s final area. We recommend failing in this at least once, though, as it prompts a showdown with death and an ending that sheds more light on certain story elements. Speaking of endings, the game boasts eighteen different ones. Completing the game for the first time unlocks the “Story” mode, which adds some 2D sidescrolling sections between areas. Although short and linear, these sections flesh out the story a bit, which makes it strange that it is not the default way to play the game the first time. A two-player mode and a built-in level editor add some further replay value to the game.

Visually, Death’s Hangover looks decent and embraces its comedy/horror themes with squirting blood, burning villagers, and even poop monsters. The number of different enemies in the game is quite impressive, and wiping out bats, spiders, worms, and other critters keeps you on your toes. The different areas also have playing fields that influence your ball differently. For example, cobwebs can slow down the ball as it travels through them, while the side walls in another area can break if hit enough, causing you to lose a life if the ball falls through. Bosses are big and impressive looking, too. Some of the later levels and bosses also change the gameplay dynamic from Breakout to Pong as you try to get your ball past them instead of hitting them.

While Death’s Hangover has a lot of banter between the characters, there is no voice acting in the game, so everything is conveyed via text boxes. The humor can sometimes be a little childish, but Retro Army Limited fans should be used to this by now. The music and sound effects are not especially noticeable but do a good job setting the game’s mood. Your paddle can be controlled with a mouse, keyboard, or controller, and all the methods work fine. The ability to fine-tune the speed and sensitivity of your chosen input method is also welcome. Although you can only move your paddle left or right, you can also increase or decrease the speed of the ball by holding down the relevant button. This sometimes feels like cheating, as there’s no limit to how often you can do so. Death’s Hangover has plenty of power-ups, too, such as glue for making the ball stick to your mattress until launched, bombs for blowing up enemies, spikes for making your mattress deadly to the touch, and the obligatory multi-ball. The bomb power-up, in particular, is so deadly that it can easily blow up even bosses, so it’s worth holding on to them if possible. The only issue we had with the controls was that the collision detection, especially for things like the lightning bolts shot by some bosses, can feel slightly off.

Overall, Death’s Hangover is a charming and playable Breakout game that can quickly kill an hour or two on a slow afternoon. It has a lot of levels and endings, so it is also a game that you might return to now and then. It’s not quite addictive enough to keep you hooked for hours on end, and the humor won’t be to everyone’s liking, but it’s fun to play.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows XP or above
  • Processor: 2.0GHZ
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 64mb graphics card
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Storage: 218 MB available space
  • Additional Notes: Minimum resolution required is 1280×720
  • OS: Windows Vista or above
  • Processor: 2.0GHZ Duo core
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 64mb graphics card
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Storage: 218 MB available space
  • Additional Notes: Minimum resolution required is 1280×720

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