Wacky, insane, outrageous, and downright ridiculous are just some of the words one could use to describe Just Die Already. Developed by Double Moose Games and published by Curve Digital, this is an old person mayhem sandbox game created by the developers of Goat Simulator. If you cast your mind back to Goat Simulator’s release around six years ago, you may remember it was an unexpected success. With streamers and YouTube videos galore mesmerized by its unique take on rampant goats mixed with ragdoll physics, it spiked a huge sense of well, silliness in the world of gaming and it quickly became an instant success. Can Just Die Already do it all over again?
This time, Armin Ibrisagic and his fine team are back with something similar but in an entirely different atmosphere. Choose from one of four elderly characters to take control of, and once selected, you awake from your bed and are tasked with breaking out of your care home in a desperate bid for freedom. Stepping out into the open world, and you’ll find a similar setup to Goat Simulator. The world is your oyster, a playground all of your own – essentially you can do whatever you please.
Whilst you can just start being very silly, there is a hint of structure and progression here. Namely, objectives that you can achieve are known as your “bucket list”. Now, my bucket list would consist of some more extravagant ideas like going on a skydive or a trip to see the Grand Canyon in person. Whilst the bucket list here isn’t as enthralling as mine, it does a great job of producing plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. Task yourself with challenges such as finding ways to separate your body from your limbs, or perhaps just set fire to things. Maybe you’ll want to urinate on live cables in order to electrocute yourself or go on a young person murdering spree, slicing and dicing a set number of NPC’s with an ax. Yes, I did say it was ‘wacky’. Completing these checklists on your bucket list unlocks new items such as swords, grenades, clothing, and much more. Utilize these projectiles and weapons to cause maximum mayhem amongst the millennials.
Whilst the physics and control setup mimics that of Goat Simulator, I felt a hint of Octodad: Dadliest Catch here also. The control system is super simple; the shoulder buttons control each arm allowing you to interact with just about anything in the game world. A quick press of the Y button will taunt the millennials who have left the boomers to fend for themselves. There is so much fun to be had with the B button, which when used, will turn you into a floppy ragdoll mess. Throwing yourself around and in front of moving, objects will hurt. You will lose arms, legs and even the entirety of your body until you’re literally rolling a pelvis around on the ground.
Occasionally you’ll find opening doors a fiddly process due to the erratic arm movement. Equally, traversing up buildings can be a tiresome process but does provide a sense of achievement when you reach the pinnacle. These are minor annoyances that are to be expected with a game of this genre. You’ll soon learn that whilst the fluidity of the character movement can be frustrating at times, it’s part of the overall charm of the game. The carnage and exploration of the world map itself outweigh the flaws.
The map is split into sections such as the main town area, a section of sporting facilities, gardens, and a temple. Each portion offers different ways of interacting with NPC’s, objects, and buildings. Co-op allows for play on further maps outside of the core main single-player run-through. These maps are City Center Sandbox, Pipe Fortress, Swingers Arena (sounds a bit dodgy), Crazy Joe’s Apple Farm, and Convey Dome. Each map has a selection of game modes such as Deathmatch, Power Circle, and Stock. Deathmatch is self-explanatory, power circle and stock translate to domination and a last old-person-standing type game mode. Sadly I didn’t get to experience any of these co-op modes but I can imagine they would be an absolute blast to play with friends with a barrage of constant laughter, though I question the longevity on offer here once the laughs are played out.
Graphically, Just Die Already is beautifully orchestrated in terms of visuals. Bright, bold, and punchy colours make it forever pleasing to look at and endure. In comparison to Goat Simulator, it is a vast improvement and doesn’t have that dull, grainy look that most titles in the simulator genre possess. There isn’t a bug insight here and I was pleasantly surprised I didn’t suffer any screen tearing or frame drops. This paves the way for the development team to perhaps push this game type even further in the future.
Sound effects are also vastly improved compared to Goat Simulator. Through what is a well-thought-out game world with differing areas, the sounds blend in superbly. Sirens, car stereos, music emitting from storefronts, and even the crunch of your bones as you are crushed by a steam roller. They really have nailed everything in the audio department here.
Overall I personally had a blast with Just Die Already. This is a casual title that has its sights on having an absolute laugh without being too serious about its objectives. My only concern would be the longevity and replayability here. Whilst the incredibly funny moments are frequent throughout, it does get a little stale after prolonged periods of time.
It is a title that only really warrants short bursts of gameplay. Just Die Already served me with some of the funniest moments in gaming in some time. Flipping the bird at a construction worker and then being knocked over by an oncoming vehicle is just one of thousands of hysterical moments I had. ready served me with some of the funniest moments in gaming in some time. Flipping the bird at a construction worker and then being knocked over by an oncoming vehicle is just one of thousands of hysterical moments I had. Playing this with my three year old son (don’t judge me) had us rolling around struggling to breathe due to how incredibly amusing it really was. I tip my flat cap and salute with my walking stick to Double Moose Games and Curve Digital for a very silly time indeed.