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  • Writer's pictureFrankieW

Game Review #297: DYING: Reborn (Nintendo Switch)

Reviewer: FrankieW

Developer: Nekcom Games

Publisher: Coconut Island Games

Category: Puzzle, Adventure

Release Date: 1.17.2019

Price (at time of review): $9.99

Buy DYING: Reborn from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

Keep It Simple, But Not Stupid

If you’ve been a fan of the site for a bit, or keep up with my reviews in general, you will notice something I mentioned a lot when I get certain kinds of games: I can’t stand needlessly complicated point-and-click adventure game puzzle solutions, the kinds with zero actual direction to where you are going or what you are doing, and it devolves into randomly trying every item you have with every single thing you can interact with, until you reach some logic-defying solution that you never would have guessed. It feels boring, and it feels like padding to just add time to an experience—which maybe you could get away with that in games from the 8-bit and 16-bit eras, but nowadays It feels lazy. I’ve had games that were TOO straightforward too—looking at you Planet Rix!—and some that get it just right; but this is the first time since I’ve started reviewing where I’ve thrown my hands up in the air when I eventually gave in and found the solution to a step I was stuck on. Let's delve into DYING: Reborn a little more!

Fish Heads & Super Stock

Yes, that is a dude with a fish head. No, I don’t know why they went with that; but hey, it certainly made me wonder when I first saw it! This is the story of a man trying to find his sister who went missing. He gets knocked out and wakes up in a room with the doors locked, a bad headache, and no idea what to do! This game is essentially a first-person escape room game, where you start with nothing, and have to figure out how to escape and move onto the next room, where you inexplicably end up getting knocked out nearly every time, so you have an excuse to wake up with nothing.

The use of super stock sound effects gets a chuckle out of me, and the loading screen very ingeniously says “Loadying”—hilarious, right? So, this game is pretty much chock full of the things I hate about these kinds of games: very little direction, puzzle solutions that defy logic, and lots of times when it turns into a “use every item you have on everything in the room to figure out what works” scenario. Tons of facepalms were had by me over the course of the levels I completed, accompanied by yells of, “How was I supposed to guess that!?” or, “I use THIS with THAT!? You gotta be kidding me!?”

The sound track was your standard indie-horror fare, pretty forgettable honestly; and like I said, there are lots of sound effects that you have heard over the past decade in every other game, so the sound design is a little lacking, honestly.

Wrapping Up

I really like what they set out to do, but the execution was sloppy and unsatisfying. DYING: Reborn sets out to do something fun, but really falls flat as you go on, and the puzzles only get more and more inane. Sadly, it once got to the point where I couldn't progress at all in an area right by the start of that room, and when I looked up what the next step was, I just had to turn the game off. It feels like this game purposely misleads you or offers up solutions no one would ever think of, and it just feels like it's wasting your time and it knows it.

These things used to get a pass in the early days of gaming, when only so much could fit on those tiny carts, so you had to do what you could to provide a long gaming experience; but now, there is no excuse to have as many levels as this game has, and to have them all be completely directionless and devoid of meaningful and logical puzzles. I would even take a few weaker levels for some good ones that had more satisfying-to-solve puzzles, but I wouldn’t give any levels I played that award, honestly. DYING: Reborn gets a 3/10 from me. It’s playable, but be prepared to solve some things with the internet, or by rapidly using items with every interactable object in the room.

Score: 3/10

Buy DYING: Reborn from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

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*Review Code Provided by Coconut Island Games

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