Game Title: Angels of Death
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Availability: Digital Download
Battery Life: 4 – 5.5 hours
Download: 808 MB
Every time I hear “RPG Maker Horror Game”, I think of Corpse Party and get pretty interested in whatever’s being talked about. Even though Corpse Party is not an RPG, it is a great Japanese horror game, filled with tons of shocking moments and a very interesting backstory.
So, when this new game popped up on the Switch’s eShop, I read “Horror Game” and “RPG Maker” in the same description and couldn’t hit Pre-Order fast enough. Now that I’ve played through it with little regret, here is my review of Angels of Death for the Nintendo Switch!
Angels of Death surrounds Rachel Gardner, a 13-year old girl that goes to counseling after witnessing a murder, only to awaken in a strange place full of riddles and killers hellbent on ending her life. After being rescued from one killer by another, she emotionlessly calls out, requesting to be killed, herself. The two of them work together for their common goals: He wants out of this place, and she wants to be killed.
The plot of this game is very odd at first and some things had me scratching my head, but the further you get into the game, the more everything makes sense and the more strange and weird plot twists appear, not only about this place and Rachel’s friend, but Rachel, herself. And by the end of the game’s story, it’s one shocking revelation after another that kept me on the edge of my seat through the entirety of the last chapter.
There’s only one problem with the game’s story. A couple scenes and sequences of the game aren’t translated into English. It seems that on its way to consoles and handhelds for the first time, AoD accidentally had about half a dozen lines of dialogue missed and skipped over, as they remain in Japanese symbols, illegible to anyone who only speaks English.
Like Corpse Party before it, Angels of Death is a horror-themed adventure game with platforming and puzzle elements thrown into the mix. As you explore the 2D environments of the game, you’ll be navigating areas, collecting items to solve puzzles, and running from various people and things that want you dead.
An interesting tidbit of info is that the Switch is the first time this game has released on any console or handheld. The game was originally Japanese-only, but was localized for PC through Steam. Until now, it’s been a PC-only game. Switch is the only console that this game can be played on right now.
The game is serialized in chapters, as its original, Japanese release was released like many Telltale games, or Resident Evil Revelations 2. The goal of each of the game’s Chapters is to solve puzzles and survive each floor of the game’s setting, unlocking the elevator to the next floor and taking one step closer to escape.
Doing that is a mixture of puzzle-solving and navigation/platforming. Most rooms in the game are puzzles that lock you in upon entering with sparkling items around that you need and other objects that need to be interacted with, both by themselves and combined with items. Whether you’re trying to hide from a killer or trying to find the key to a locked door, you’ll be doing plenty of exploring and puzzle-solving over the course of this game.
What makes the game more unique is how it changes things up when threats happen on each floor. These start out as simple chase sequences, where you have to outrun the killer long enough to either find a place to hide or jump into the next floor. As you work your way up, though, they become different. Some of them have you running around and destroying objects in rooms while others are closer to QTEs from more cinematic games of today’s generation. This constant change keeps all of these high-stress situations fresh from the others.
These sequences are also often challenging, giving you instant death if you fail the puzzle or your time limit runs out. However, with the ability to save anywhere in the game and having the game automatically bring up the Save Menu whenever these sequences start, there’s plenty given to you to help you manage through all of these.
Overall, this brings us to the game’s length. I cleared the final chapter and got the game’s Ending and Epilogue in a little over 8 hours of game time. For a game that is priced $15 for its NA release, that’s a pretty good amount of time to get out of it. As far as replayability is concerned, though, there is a reason to replay the game, but I cannot say why because of story spoilers.
Controlling the game is very simple. Moving is done with the Arrow Buttons or Left Analog Stick. Interacting with objects and NPCs is done with the A button. B cancels menu options. Finally, you can open the menu with the + button or the X button.
And, that’s pretty much it. It’s an extremely simple control scheme.
I wouldn’t say this game is terrible, visually, but I also wouldn’t call it great. A lot of the renders in the game definitely have some jaggies on them, and this was the same in the PC version. You’ll rarely notice this in handheld mode. It was more when it was shown on my TV that I noticed this, especially with the character artwork during scenes.
The little nitpick I have with presentation is the lack of full-screen scenes. The entire game is basically set to a 4:3 ratio, where everything is cropped in the middle of the screen. Most of the time, I didn’t even notice this, but when certain scenes start, it’s very apparent and looks rather strange. Once again, this is the same in the PC version, but it’s still strange.
Based on how the game looks, it’s pretty easy to gauge the kind of Battery Life we’re talking with Angels of Death. Here are my times, from 100% to 0%
Max Brightness + Wi-Fi – 4 hours, 15 minutes
Max Brightness + No Wi-Fi – 4 hours, 19 minutes
Low Brightness + Wi-Fi – 5 hours, 24 minutes
Low Brightness + No Wi-Fi – 5 hours, 29 minutes
Even being expected, it’s quite a bit. You’re gonna get a good 4-5 hours out of a single charge with Angels of Death.
In conclusion, Angels of Death is great horror game if you're a fan of other 2D horror games like Corpse Party. Granted, there are some translation issues with a couple scenes and some odd choices in the Presentation, but if you're into horror games with gripping stories that will keep you guessing, it's a great pick.