From Manchester’s very own two-man indie team Acid Nerve, here we have one of the most critically acclaimed games of 2021.
Death’s Door is an action-adventure game not dissimilar to the recent Tunic (2022), except in this one you get to play as a crow. Hurray!
Death’s Door is a Grim Reaper of a Game
Yes, so you can get this on Steam, PS4/5, Switch, and Xbox One/Series X/S.
In Death’s Door, you get to take control of a small crow. This being works as a grim reaper who collects souls for the Reaping Commission Headquarters.
It’s a bureaucratic thing for the afterlife, which is a concept inspired by LucasArt’s point-and-click classic Grim Gandango (1998).
The game also makes us think of Max Porter’s novella Grief is the Thing With Feathers (2015), which features an enigmatic crow with macabre machinations.
Yeah, the game is definitely for ornithophiles. Like birds? You’ll dig this.
In the early stages of the game, it emerges there’s a fair bit of corruption in the land of the dead, and it’s your task to sort all that out.
And so off you flap to collect three Giant Souls to open Death’s Door and sort out all the hoo-ha gubbins going on.
With its isometric 3D approach, you have quite a lot of freedom for exploration in the quite complex world you enter.
Combat is a constant theme throughout every area you enter.
Acid Nerve did a great job here, as the melee action is enjoyable and some of the enemy creations are really inspired.
As a dungeon crawler inspired by the likes of A Link to the Past (1992), key to providing a memorable experience is level design.
We think Death’s Door largely delivers on this, with clever and engaging developments to keep you engaged.
The story is also witty, with asides about the nature of life and meeting one’s maker.
Visually, the title is very impressive at times.
And there’s a pretty gosh darned solid soundtrack by David Fenn. He’s the producer, designer, sound designer, and composer for Acid Nerve.
Manchester’s famous for its Madchester beats, of course, but that stuff above is in a different type of style.
Anyway, as a whole Death’s Door works a treat.
It met with rave reviews from the gaming press in 2021. And we enjoyed it a great deal, although don’t quite hail it as the masterpiece some have done.
Despite some reservations, there’s no denying Acid Nerve got absolutely everything out of a small budget to craft a charming adventure.
It looks the part, has plenty of clever ideas, but it’s the frenetic combat and exploration that’ll make you squawk happily on multiple occasions.