PAX East Impressions: Move or Die

Move or Die is unequivocally chaotic. Whether you’re playing alone against bots or against opponents online, it’s the kind of game that can keep you hooked for hours. Where it really shines though, is with three friends by your side playing against one another locally.

I had a chance to check out Move or Die in those exact circumstances at PAX East last month and said at the time that it was my game of the show. After some reflection, I stand by that declaration. If that on its own doesn’t sell you though, here’s what the game is all about…

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Move or Die is colorful, riotous fun…

In case the name didn’t clue you in, Move or Die is tremendously fast-paced. The many different game modes revolve around the same core gameplay loops of completing an objective within a time limit or avoiding hazards on the map to stay alive. Oh, and if you stop moving for more than one second, you die. Jumping in place doesn’t count.

As you can imagine, this lends itself to pretty short rounds. About 20 seconds to be precise. In order to keep things fresh, players are able to choose an approximate runtime for their match and then select their favorites from a variety of game modes, providing a fresh objective for each round as the match unfolds. Being able to get through a match quickly is a major factor in why this is a perfect party game. Another major factor is its accessibility.

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Players can select up to seven game modes that will rotate throughout the match…

In its more basic modes, Move or Die only asks two things of the player. Move side to side and be able to jump. While some other modes ask a bit more, the controls never get overly complex. It’s precisely the type of game that anyone can pick up and grasp in the first few rounds: perfect for college dorms or adding some friendly competition to a gathering of friends. If you don’t have any friends, Move or Die has your back. There’s full online play and even offline bot support. It’s perfect for when the game has its claws into you but you don’t have anyone around to play with.

Ultimately, what will keep people coming back to the game is just how fun it is. Watching a friend’s character get crushed by a falling hazard or just laughing as you push them into one keeps being funny well after the first couple rounds. The quick rounds also mean that skill can’t completely take over and propel someone to the top over and over again. It brings a level of almost randomness to the gameplay that makes anyone feel like they can win, keeping competition friendly.

As of this writing, Move or Die is available for purchase on Steam for Windows, Mac, and Linux users. The developer, Those Awesome Guys, released a free update just last week that included new game modes and modifiers. This is something they promise to continue into the future, adding value for customers while keeping the player base together. As they put it, “Everything in the game can be unlocked for free, no paywalls. No bull$#%&. Period.”



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