Couch co-op is sadly a dying breed of games these days. While splitscreen is rarely available in games, there are even fewer titles which support more than two players simultaneously on the same console. Move or Die hopes to rectify that with a party game that is so fast-paced, it’ll make your head spin. We went hands-on with a demo at Sony’s PlayStation Experience 2016 event, and have our impressions ready for your reading pleasure below.
To fill you in a little bit, Move or Die was originally released on Steam in January 2015, to overwhelmingly positive feedback. Though the game featured online play, it felt perfectly suited to supporting the four-player couch co-op that home console gamers are familiar with. Then Sony blew the lid off their announcements at PSX 16, and Move or Die is now officially coming to the PlayStation 4.
After picking our characters – I chose Dr. Robotnik from Sonic, though other franchises such as the Despicable Me Minions were also available – a collection of minigames was chosen to be played, and then we were off. Each game lasted around 20 seconds or less, depending on the ruleset. This included chainsaw jousting, where your goal was to chop someone with their back turned to you. Hitting each other while facing one another would knock your chainsaws to the ground, leaving you vulnerable to attack. Another game saw players frantically running around the level, painting squares in their own color, attempting to have the most squares painted by them at the end of the match.
Time to Mutate
Once a handful of rounds had been played, a randomly-selected player was chosen to pick a mutator. These are new, quirky rules which can enhance (or disrupt!) gameplay for rounds played going forward. The rule chosen was one that allowed for players who were killed to kill other players after death, something that can very easily be forgotten in the heat of battle. Everything about Move or Die facilitates quick rounds with hilarious results.
Levels in Move or Die are predictably small for a co-op game, which is at its heart a platformer. The jumping felt reminiscent of Super Meat Boy, though perhaps the art style influenced the way I felt about those mechanics. Regardless, controls were tight, which often resulted in some incredibly frantic matches requiring hair trigger reflexes. Blink, and you might miss your opportunity to score a win. Oh, and true to the game’s name, stand still in one place for too long, and your character spontaneously combusts.
Move or Die felt like such a blast to play with others. I can already say that it is likely to be a hit at parties, due in large part to the accessible gameplay combined with the much friendlier setup that the PlayStation 4 allows for. Modifiers will keep things fresh, and there appeared to be dozens of different game modes to choose from. Move or Die is currently being developed for release in 2017 by developer Those Awesome Guys. Keep your browsers pointed at PlayStation LifeStyle for continuing coverage of everything we saw and played at PSX 16.