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A Fresh Look at Death

Death has been portrayed in many ways over the centuries. He has been seen as the skeletal revenant that brought pestilence in the Black Death during the mid-14th century. He was a cloaked figure that carried a massive scythe in multiple European and American works of art. Death is always seen as menacing and frightening, but maybe that image is wrong.

Indie developer Kong Orange and publisher Daedalic Entertainment have a brand new take on the character of Death. Instead of being a shadowy cloaked figure, he seems to be much more approachable. This death has changed out his scythe for a pair of headphones, and he has some killer dance moves to match. He is Felix the Reaper, and he is on a quest to win the heart of his true love.

A Love Story to Die For

Though Felix the Reaper is not anywhere close to being released, the developers have divulged quite a bit about the title on their Steam page. Felix is a Reaper who works at the Ministry of Death. Naturally, these guys deal with death, of course. Felix has gotten himself into a pickle, though. You see, he has fallen in love with Betty the Maiden who works at the Ministry of Life. Something tells me that this may create some compatibility issues.

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Sure, he’s Death incarnate, but even Death has feelings.

Compatible or not, Felix seeks to win the heart of Betty by going down to earth and working as a field reaper to get closer to her. He has even taught himself to dance, which he practices as he works. Each Rube-Goldberg death trap he makes to reach his quota gets him one step closer to being with the fair maiden of his dreams.

Staying in the Shadows

Felix the Reaper is an action-puzzle game that takes advantage of 3D environments and challenges. Felix himself can only operate in the shadows, so he must manipulate them to move around on the gridded map. In the gameplay shots, Felix can be seen moving objects around to set up “death traps” that will engage when time starts back up. His victims, like an unassuming pooch, can be manipulated or placed in the path of their demise while they are frozen in time.

This game may look light-hearted, but the trailers suggest that it is going to be host to quite a bit of “dark humor.” As Felix dances around, people will get crushed, maimed, and eviscerated by the devices that the reaper sets up during his escapades.

A Classically Inspired Tale

As simple and fun as this title may look on the outside, the developers drew quite a bit of inspiration from outside sources to create it. The initial inspiration for this game came from two separate sources that revolved around the art history of death. The first was the Danse Macabre artistic allegorical renderings that were popular in the Late Middle Ages. These paintings showed people dancing with skeletons before they died. The second was the classic picture of Death and the Maiden, which showed death wrapping his skeletal arms around a beautiful woman.

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Felix’s dances are modeled after the movements of actual dancers. Courtesy of Steam

With these pictures in mind, the developers at Kong Orange sought to give Danse Macabre a more modern touch. Death himself became the hero of the story and was remodeled to reflect a softer (and fluffier) side to the dark specter. Felix’s movements are modeled after both classical and modern dances ranging from ballet to urban. This light and somewhat humorous approach to Death ensures that this game will be unlike any other on the market.

Felix Grooves into Next Year

Felix the Reaper is still in development, but it is on its way to be released in 2019 on Steam. I don’t know about you, but I am looking forward to seeing more of those sweet, sweet dance moves!