Between the “world exclusives,” the “world premieres,” the celebrity guests, the musical performances, the uh, questionable musical performances, and the handful of actual rewards, last night’s four-hour showing of The 2021 Game Awards was a lot. Amid the cacophony, you could’ve easily missed one of the evening’s coolest debuts: Have a Nice Death, a 2D roguelike with whimsical humor and a quirky art style.
I know, I know…“Why does every new game have to be a roguelike with whimsical humor and a quirky art style?”
Counterpoint: There can never be too many roguelikes with whimsical humor and quirky art styles. And if that’s your bag, Have a Nice Death looks to fit it nicely. In case you missed it, see for yourself:
Have a Nice Death, developed by the France-based Magic Design Studios, with Perfect World Entertainment attached as a publisher, casts you as the CEO of an afterlife organization. Amid a death surge, you find yourself overworked and overburdened, your desk piled with mile-high stacks of processing papers. Instead of delegating any of these responsibilities to your staff, you—again, reiterating here, a CEO—decide to “do it yourself.”
Yeah, Have a Nice Death isn’t exactly realistic.
But what it lacks in realism it seems to make up for in gameplay, which looks as fast and fluid as some of the highwater marks in the genre. According to a press release provided by Perfect World, Have a Nice Death features more than 30 weapons at launch. There’s a dash move that looks directly out of Hollow Knight. And every level—all of which are done up in a hand-drawn art style—is procedurally generated, much like a certain other butter-smooth roguelike made by a French independent developer. (In fact, Sébastien Bénard, a developer on Dead Cells, is consulting on Have a Nice Death.)
Have a Nice Death doesn’t currently have a release date but is planned for an early access release on PC in March 2022. Obviously a minute-long snippet of gameplay doesn’t paint a full picture, but this one’s definitely on my radar now.