How cruel are you? Would you dare use garden shears to pluck your pet rabbit’s eyelashes or try to groom a little fluffy kitten with a chainsaw? I wouldn’t… well, not in the real world anyway.
Cute Things Dying Violently is a flash-orientated puzzle game from Apathy Works. The game’s title really does help sum up what this game is all about. The game is set on a little island where fluffy bipedal creatures roam the landscape. As a concerned visitor, I suppose, your job is to help these little creatures navigate the rather surprising amount of dangerous objects on the island – from little objects like fires and spikes, to bombs and circular saws – to reach the end of level and get to safety. It’s not as easy as it sounds though; sometimes you will be forced to make difficult decisions, such as sacrificing one of the cute things to a violent death to allow the others to survive. Sometimes though, you may only have one chance to save lives, by having to help just one little critter.
Level design varies greatly, with new traps and objects constantly being added to give the game variety and flavour. Also included are end of area bosses which prevent the game becoming an ordinary flash-based puzzle game, plus give an extra level of difficulty and frustration as the game continues. Controls are relatively straightforward: you can click on and manipulate objects by sliding them across the ground, or flick them across the screen on a trajectory.
Graphically, the game is made up of nicely shaded 2D objects which look rather pleasant and cute but have an extra level of detail thanks to the variety of traps and situations in levels – not to mention the Mortal Kombat levels of blood spurting all over once one of the poor critters decides to touch one (or because you got a little bit curious). The soundtrack’s a little annoying though; the chirpy and repetitive melodies soon grate on your nerves and sour the experience a little.
Cute Things Dying Violently also comes with a built-in level editor, which is rather straightforward and fun to use. I made myself a nice cool little level and shared it online, and can’t wait to make some more.
Cute Things Dying Violently is an enjoyable game, but there are a couple of annoying little things. Firstly, the controls can be a little bit unresponsive if your reactions are too quick on the mouse. Also, if your cursor goes off screen when you are dragging a creature, the movement stops entirely and you have to wait as yet another creature dies: something which can get rather annoying very quickly. The game also does seem to get rather tricky very quickly, and offers no guidance if you get stuck on a particular level (or maybe that’s me just complaining that I can’t complete them). Other than that; the game’s practically perfect.
Seriously, I love this game. I may play it on mute and get griped up at the controls, but this game is just a wonderful little gem and comes with an element of wit and humour which I think is a rare occurrence in video games today. Thanks to the unique premise and dark humour (and the copious amounts of comedic blood spill), it’s not just any ordinary flash based puzzle game. Cute Things Dying Violently is an addictive way to pass the time with plenty to get your claws stuck into.