Poor Mike is in trouble after taking a detour through that asteroid field. Even worse, his spaceship place is a literal death trap and he’s also being chased by some weird demonic eye demon. It is time to escape – and to supposedly die a whole lot of times in the process.
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When Psydra games, creators of twisted RPG Dark Scavenger (2012), take on the platformer genre, you just know that this won’t be your run-of-the-mill jump and run. And indeed, Mike Dies feels more like a metroidvania, with short, challenging levels which are interconnected and that you may have to revisit at a later time.
Much like in Terry Cavanagh’s VVVVVV, there’s a distinct sense of place to Mike’s spaceship. You’re not just stumbling through a haphazardly put together string of nasty levels. Instead, this place is full of dead ends, secrets, and hidden pathways to discover. It might not look like it, but there’s rhyme and reason to all of this torture – and an odd story to boot.
Your set of moves is fairly limited. Running, jumping, and hovering in place are your only means of survival, and the biggest danger in the early levels is not getting part of you teleported away (while the other parts stays where you are, yikes).
But no worries, this limited moveset doesn’t grow stale anytime soon. Mike Dies is designed quite well and has some surprises up its sleeve. Meanwhile, you cannot shake the feeling that someone’s playing a rather cruel little game with you, but that’s for you to figure out…