Android Game Review – Spotlight: Karoshi

Welcome to one of the weirdest yet greatest games ever to grace an Android phone.  Warning: must be open to dark humor, otherwise this will not be for you.

Karoshi YoYo Games Ltd

$1.00

Karoshi is a very sad man.  He’s decided to end it all, as soon as possible.  Little did he know he’d be doomed to do it over and over again, and have it get more and more difficult the more he does it….

Oops. Spoiled the solution to Level 1. My bad.

This is a puzzle-solving game made with the intention of defying all traditional rules of gaming.  You’re TRYING to die, sometimes restarting the level helps in a positive way, sometimes the solutions make no sense… yet work.  It’s a trial-and-error game of suicide for the troubled office worker, Mr. Karoshi.

Um...

Over the course of the game, you will electrify yourself, immolate yourself, and dash yourself to pieces through dozens of very cunningly conceived levels.  In the early going, it is relatively easy to lead Mr. Karoshi to his untimely demise, but as the game goes on, it just gets harder…and weirder… more cruel… and then harder again.

So... I should... and that bounces... but... fire? Also... Hey, zappy blocks... Uh...

I found myself unable to resist the game, as it just appealed to me on so many levels.  Mind you, I don’t want to die horribly anytime soon; but most people would be lying if they claimed they hadn’t had those kind of dark thoughts.  Putting that aside, the cleverness of the levels kept me in way past the novelty and made me a huge fan of the game.

It is really hard to talk about how to play the game without giving out spoilers on how to beat certain levels.  All I can really tell you is to try anything, regardless of what you *think* will happen.  Along the way to your certain demise, you will encounter new ground switches, new types of blocks to manipulate, your boss (who makes you sad, thus not jumping as high), your girlfriend (who makes you jump higher, and all spikes turn to harmless flowers, but…), and assorted other wacky creatures that will either aid you or drive you insane, or both.

Each board forces you to think in more creative ways, and the challenge level is just low enough to keep you from rage quitting, and high enough to frustrate you for dozens of attempts.  Thankfully, it is easy (and sometimes really, really good) to reset the levels. There are timing puzzles, thinking puzzles, chain-reaction puzzles, and what I’m choosing to call “WTF” puzzles.  It boils down to: if you think you’ve tried everything… think again.

Achievements, OpenFient... tightly made game, don't let looks fool you.

I would recommend this highly to anybody who can stand the humor of it.  It isn’t a pretty game; Karoshi dies in hideous fashion over and over, and sometimes isn’t the only casualty.  If this sort of twisted concept does not appeal to you, don’t play it.  No game is worth insulting your sensibilities or moral sense.  If you can shrug off the uncomfortable theme though, this is a fantastic buy at $1.00, and if I’m not mistaken, it may still be free at Getjar – however, use Getjar at your own risk.  I’m not at all certain about that site, or how it handles updates for apps (if at all).

THE TL:DR;

  • Great game for a great price.
  • Extremely dark humor.  Turn back if that bothers you.
  • Defies many traditional gaming tropes in many funny and/or disturbing ways.
  • It is a LOT of game for just one dollar.
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One thought on “Android Game Review – Spotlight: Karoshi

  1. Pingback: Android App Review Special, Part 5: Most Used/Excellent Apps in my “Games” Category | JUST REBOOT!

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