Reviewed On: PC

Life Goes On is a genius puzzle platformer that began its life at a Global Game Jam. The game was such a hit at the game jam that the project took on a life of its own, and began a two-year development cycle. Now, the folks at Infinite Monkeys Entertainment have given birth to this fantastic little gem of an indie game.

Publisher:  Infinite Monkeys Entertainment
Developer:  Infinite Monkeys Entertainment
Platforms:  PC, Mac, Linux
Genre:  Indie, Puzzle, Platformer
Release Date:  April 17, 2014

Life Goes On operates under one basic concept; victory through sacrifice. In this case “Victory” is achieving a golden goblet, and “sacrifice” means hurling as many knights into spikes and traps as necessary to form a safe walkway for one fortunate soul to march across his dead brethren to reach “victory”. There is an unlimited pool of knights to sacrifice and use their bodies to get around the obstacles. It sounds simple enough; however, it’s really not that simple. There is a surprising amount of challenge to be found in Life Goes On, despite all the knightly sacrifices.

Life Goes On Puzzle

The puzzles are cleverly designed. The developers have created a variety of mechanics that take full advantage of the knight’s death and spawn system.
Traps and puzzle mechanics include:

  • Spikes that impale knights and make that part of the spiked zone safe to traverse for the next knight.
  • Conveyor belts that can extend or retract spikes.
  • Fire traps to cremate bodies.
  • Electrical circuits that require a knight’s body to complete the circuit and activate.
  • Switches and panels that trigger other parts of the levels.
  • Panels that are only active as long as something is weighing it down.
  • Ice traps that turn knights into solid blocks of ice.
  • Giant magnets that affect the gravity in an area.
  • Life linked switches that are only active as long as the knight that triggered it is alive.
  • Cannons that can shoot knights at hard to reach places.
  • Some levels even use the spawn points as part of the puzzle.

As you can imagine, these create some interesting scenarios for the knights to overcome, or go suicidal over. Life Goes On does a pretty good job at shattering the traditional standards of past puzzle games by making death a necessity to succeed, while remaining familiar to experienced fans of the puzzle platforming genre by giving them some mechanics they are familiar with. Completing most of the puzzles is fairly easy, since you have an unlimited amount minions you can toss around at your disposal; however, the challenge lies completing the game’s bonus objectives and feeding Jeff.

Life Goes On Jeff

Meet Jeff. Jeff likes to eat knights. He’s hidden on every level as a secret bonus objective.

The game keeps track of how long you take completing a level and how many knights you kill along the way. Players who wish to beat the challenges of each puzzle will need to show restraint when it comes to their subjects lives, no matter how satisfying it is to throw knights onto spikes, turn them into giant ice cubes, or shoot them out of a cannon. Efficiency and quickness are critical to completing challenges of each level, which is what makes this game so challenging and adds replayability to the levels since players will not have the freedom of just throwing away knights to see if something works. Certain levels also hold hidden secrets and require some exploring to find them.

Later puzzles are noticeably more difficult, and require more finesse than just hurling knights on a conveyor belt of spikes. Some levels in particular will have players scratching their heads as they try to figure out how to get across certain chasms or activate certain switches.

Life Goes On Victory Screen

I love this game’s victory screens. They always made me laugh.

Animations in Life Goes On are nice and smooth. Controls are simple, commanding knights to their untimely demise is very fluid and responsive. The sound design and music are great accents to the game and give the game a sort of comedic ambience.

Life Goes On is very fun. It has the perfect balance between challenge and enjoyment as well as platforming and puzzle solving. Finishing the puzzles is rewarding and the game introduced new mechanics at a very nice pace that will keep players engaged. Once I started playing it, I did not want to stop until I was finished.

This brings me to my one issue about the game’s current status, it’s too short. This could be because I was really enjoying it and did not want to end, so perhaps that is not as bad as it sounds. I do wish there was a level creator in the game so that the community could get involved and dream up some crazy puzzles for the knights to hurl themselves into, but something like that can always be patched in later.

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Life Goes On Review
Life Goes On is a great puzzle platformer that will keep players hooked from start to finish. It is a short game, but the sheer creativity behind the puzzles, as well as the challenges, will keep players coming back. All it needs is a level creator/editor for users and life will be complete.
Pros
  • Creative gameplay
  • Challenging puzzles
  • Jeff
Cons
  • Too short
  • Needs a level creator
4.0Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)

About The Author

Editor-and-Chief

Blane Humphries began his gaming adventures in the mid 90's. While he had played several different games growing up, he credits Westwood's Command and Conquer: Tiberian Sun for shaping him into the gamer he is today. Blane has a degree in Public Relations from Georgia Southern University and enjoys creating media campaigns for game studios and games industry media.