by Matt Porter
reviewed on PC
If you had a time machine, would you go back and kill Hitler? What about some of the other bad guys throughout history? Well, now you don’t have to wait for physics defying technology to be invented, as we have the imaginatively titled Kill the Bad Guy from Exkee. You’re tasked with killing dozens of bad guys in a variety of different ways.
It’s a puzzle game in which you have to find the best way of killing each bad guy without being spotted by passers by, police or security cameras. Each level has one bad guy, who will walk from one spot to another each day. Viewing from above, you have to assess the scene, and use the environment to kill him. A simple fix would be to rig a car and make it accelerate into the bad guy as he walks past. However each level has its own secondary objective to kill the bad guy in a specific way. For example you might want to lead him down a back alley, sabotage a fire hydrant to flood it with water, and then snip an electrical line.
Use the Environment
Each level has a bunch of different objects in it. You can cut down trees, attach elastic bands to things to fling dangerous objects through the air, and you can move barriers around to guide the bad guy to where you want him to go. However, if you do any sabotaging within his vision cone, he’ll make a break for the nearest way out and you’ll have to restart. You can still kill him while he’s on the run, but it’ll be a bit harder. If you don’t spook him, but he still reaches his destination, it rolls over onto the next day and he’ll take the same route again. You’ll get a bonus for "doing it" on the first day though.
There rarely comes a time when you won’t be able to quickly assess the situation and kill the bad guy on the first day. Even if it rolls over to the next day, you might as well just restart the level again, as you don’t lose anything for doing so. The game isn’t particularly hard, and most of the difficulty comes in the form of things not doing quite what you thought they were going to do. There’s a physics engine, but it’s not a particularly good one. For example you can set a wrecking ball swinging and then cut the chain to send the ball flying off towards your target, but the aiming isn’t really accurate enough to get it right every time. Objects that need sabotaging take a while to do so, and each one takes a different amount of time. So you might think you’re timing something to happen exactly as the bad guy walks by, when in fact it takes so long to do he’s already walked past.
There’s usually plenty of objects in each level, but it’s pretty obvious what the best way to kill the bad guy is each time. Sometimes there is really only one way, and you’ll have to use trial and error to find it. There’s also a passport hidden in each level, providing a bonus if you find it, but again, it’s never hard to find. When you eventually kill the bad guy, one of his teeth flies out and you have to quickly click on it to pick it up. The whole experience feels like a Flash game you’d play during a lunch break, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but ask yourself, would you pay money for it?
This is backed up by the bland visuals. Everything you can’t interact with is just a plain white, and even the stuff you can click on isn’t exciting to look at. This is the kind of game you might pay a couple of quid for on a tablet, play it a few times and then forget about. On the PC it just feels out of place, and its price is frankly too high at £12.99. There are 60 levels, as well a few bonus ones, but each one only lasts a few minutes at most, so you won’t get too many hours out of it.
Neither Fun nor Funny
Each level begins with a briefing, naming the bad guy, what they’ve done, and what your secondary objective is. This is where the game’s attempt at humour comes in, and it falls flat, and in some places made me feel uncomfortable. I’m not usually one to say “too soon”, but when one of the bad guys is named “Oscar”, and that he’s a former athlete accused of murdering his wife... The game’s theme song was fairly amusing the first time I loaded it up. But since it plays after you complete every level, it begins to grate, and is now ingrained in my memory like the time I got locked in a public restroom when I was a kid.
Kill the Bad Guy is a game that would feel right at home as a budget priced game on a tablet considering the basic mechanics on show. On a PC it looks boring, isn’t particularly fun to play, and there’s not enough content to merit the price tag. Unless you have a particular penchant for killing a bunch of bad guys who all look the same, avoid this one.
Occasionally decent variety in ways to kill the bad guy
Looks bland, not much of a challenge, attempts at humour fall flat