Rating : 6/10
Felix the Reaper is a weird game to say the least. The tagline alone – a romantic comedy about life and death – is intriguing enough for any player to check it out, but unfortunately, this tagline isn’t all factual. There is definitely life and death, but the romance and comedy are severely lacking and are only really present within the opening and closing sections of the game.
Felix the Reaper is a puzzle game from Kong Orange that follows a strange thing named Felix as he falls in love with a woman by the name of Betty the Maiden, but there is a huge issue. Felix works at The Ministry of Death and Betty works at The Ministry of Life, which means they would never see each other. Felix teaches himself to dance in an attempt to woo Betty, but he realized his dance moves will be wasted if they never actually meet. So instead he decides to become a Field Reaper otherwise known as a person who manipulates the life and death of humans. Being so close to life is the only way Felix believes he will see his love and maybe, just maybe, get to dance with her.
All this is summarized at the beginning of the game by none other than Sir Patrick Stewart, who appears throughout the game as a narrator. Unfortunately, that is basically the extent of the story throughout the entirety of five to six-hour game. You never see Betty again and the romance for this romantic comedy disappears. It’s a shame because you want to see the interactions between Felix and Betty, but you never do. None of the chapters and puzzles that follow have anything to do with either of them.
Felix the Reaper is an interesting puzzle game because of its unique concept, but it never evolves into something more than what you learn in the opening hours. With this new job, each level will have you controlling Felix as you solve puzzles with the end goal of killing someone in a pretty gruesome way. Since Felix is a Reaper he can only move in the shadows, so your goal is to complete the tasks by manipulating the direction of the sun as you use objects around you – barrels, boxes, and haystacks – to cast shadows. It sounds relatively simple, but some of these puzzles can be fairly challenging and a couple might have you pulling your hair out. The game doesn’t hold your hand whatsoever after the opening moments and because of that you can get lost or confused very easily. Luckily there is a hint option in the side menu that, in all honesty, I had to use quite frequently but never saw any repercussions for doing so.
You can play the entire game with just your mouse since you’re moving Felix around on the checkerboard map with clicks, with the sun manipulation being a button on the bottom right of the screen. Each level has only two directions the sun can go and you can even hold down the button to see which way the sun will go before actually confirming the action. The reason this is important is because of the side objectives that are revealed at the end of each level.
After completing a level there are three levels of side objectives that you can go back and try to complete, as well as a hardcore mode if you want even more of a challenge. These side objectives are essentially putting a restraint on every move you make in the level. Manipulate the sun a certain amount of times, never getting hit by the sun, only move a certain number of squares and more, but it was never really clear what this gets you other than replayability.
Visually, Felix the Reaper is a unique-looking game with a style that feels like a merge of the game Gang Beasts and a Tim Burton movie – namely The Nightmare Before Christmas. All the animations for Felix are great and watching some of his dance moves while trying to figure out a puzzle got a few chuckles. The music is also great and can be changed within the side menu of each level, but they did a good job of choosing a track that fits the world.
Felix the Reaper is a challenging puzzle game that is supposed to be a romantic comedy about life and death, but for some reason leaves the romance and some of the comedy aspects out of almost the entire game. The puzzles can be vexingly challenging and never really evolve from what you see in the opening hours. But the visuals are one of a kind and there is some great music to go along with it, though you might forget about all that when you’re pulling your hair out from the puzzles while wishing for Felix to come for you instead.
Felix the Reaper is a challenging puzzle game that is supposed to be a romantic comedy about life and death, but for some reason leaves the romance and some of the comedy aspects out of almost the entire game.