What were once three close friends turn into diabolical frenemies with the release of Adventure Islands’ Total Party Kill. A puzzle platformer that has you sacrificing your friends for victory, should you slaughter your bros for the greater good?

Total Party Kill Review

Taking the role of a knight, an archer, and a mage, this trio sets out on the hunt for a great treasure. However, the path to riches is treacherous, and sacrifices must be made along the way. Though this title has got your bog standard fantasy tropes, the story takes a backseat to the gameplay.

Said gameplay puts the focus on platforming, albeit with a puzzle twist. All characters have a jump and a special ability – the knight can swing his sword, the mage can cast a freezing spell, and the archer does his best work with arrows. Players are able to switch between each of these three characters with the press of the A button, which proves to be a fairly intuitive method.

The end goal is to navigate 60 single screen levels to the exit. This is far easier said than done though; spikes, switches, and high up areas all prove to be a challenge. However, players will be able to find a path to the exit by killing off each other. Need to create a pathway among the spikes? Why not turn your buddies into blocks of ice? Exit out of the way? Why not shoot an arrow through the heart of your bros?

It might seem straightforward at first, but Total Party Kill has fun with this concept. Early levels give way to complex creations that have players reflecting shots using mirrors, timing switches, and doing all manner of stunts. There is occasionally more than one solution for each area, but even the hardest level won’t stump players for too long. It can sometimes be cumbersome to switch between the three and lay things out just right, but cracking the code of each level is a satisfying feeling. Just be warned that the reset button is buried in the pause menu; a standalone button on the main screen would have streamlined things a considerable amount.

When all is said and done and the treasure is yours, expect to finish your playtime in around an hour. It does not overstay its welcome, but this proves to be a one and done type of game. The lack of variety in the stylings of each level tends to have things run together too, leading to a same-y feeling throughout. Despite this, the spritework is truly charming for the three protagonists. For characters that are so small in stature, they manage to evoke a fair deal of emotion when giving up the ghost.

Total Party Kill is a short but sweet puzzle platformer with a unique concept. Though stages begin to bleed together after a while, the planning that goes into each level is worth experiencing at least once.

This review of Total Party Kill was done on the PC. The game was purchased digitally.
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