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Total Party Kill – a game where backstabbing is positively encouraged

Developer: Jussi Simpanen
Price: Free
Size: 68.7 MB
Version: 1.0.1
Platform: iPhone & iPad

Total Party Kill

In the world of multiplayer video games, friendly fire is either a massive faux pas or the source of much hilarity. In Total Party Kill, it’s the core mechanic for an ingenious single player platform-puzzler.

Jussi Simpanen’s latest production sees you taking command of a crack trio of fantasy warriors. There’s the archer, who can pin enemies to walls with a well placed arrow. There’s the knight, who sends bodies flying with his mighty sword. And there’s the mage, who can freeze foes in place with a spell.

Flip switches to open the exit

But the key twist here is that are no enemy skeletons or orcs to slay. There are only our three heroes, stuck in a trap-filled castle.

What’s needed here is a willingness to sacrifice. You might need to use the archer to pin the knight to the opposite wall so as to form a makeshift platform to a higher level. Or you might have to use the mage to freeze the archer and drop them onto some spikes, literally stepping on their body to reach the exit.

Form frozen body-platforms with the mage

The knight’s clobbering ability, meanwhile, can send one of the other two flying over gaps and through spiked walls onto switches.

Once you’ve gotten past the initial batch of levels, you’ll need to combine these abilities in order to progress to the next single-screen level. It becomes a matter of reading the lay of the land and deciding which two heroes will need to be sacrificed.

Pin your buddies with the archer

You might even need to combine attacks, such as pinning a buddy to the wall with the archer before freezing the body with the mage, causing it to drop and form a platform on the spikes below.

It sounds rather grisly, but Total Party Kill is rendered in chirpy 8-bit style. There’s a black sense of humour to proceedings, but it’s all surprisingly jaunty.

The knight can clobber team mates through spike walls

It’s a shame there isn’t a little more visual variation to the levels. The drab blue-grey castle skin starts to feel rather repetitive and claustrophobic after a while.

We also found the game’s extensive adverts rather irritating. It benefits the experience hugely to splash out for the $4/£4 ad-free experience. Slight as it is, though, this is a game that largely justifies such an expenditure.

Only one member needs to survive each level

Total Party Kill is a game that leans entirely on the ingenuity of its murderous central premise. Fortunately, it’s a really good one.