When starting Just Die Already my pensioner already been eaten by piranhas, crushed under a door, and broken every bone in my body before even getting out of my apartment. And yet each time I could still carry on moving around, sometimes without any limbs, sometimes without a head, sometimes as just a pile of wobbling flesh with no skeletal structure whatsoever. Welcome to the world of Just Die Already, a sandbox kill-your-pensioner-em-up (it’ll catch on) which is, frankly, absolutely batshit crazy.
So what’s actually the point of the game? Well, it’s hard to tell at first. Before you’ve managed to find the key to unlock your door and get out, you’re given a crash course on exactly how not to do things. It’s amazingly easy to injure your pensioner in such a way that you’d normally assume they were good for the rubbish bin, and yet they carry on with arms hanging loose, hop around on one leg or simply roll around as a torso with nothing attached to it. But it’s when you finally get out and into the town that you’re given bucket lists with objectives on them, ranging from peeing on electrical sockets to playing basketball and various insane suggestions along the way. Going about these tasks is tough for two reasons – the control system, and how easy it is to get sidetracked.
The controls are pretty wild. Controlling your character is tough, and as soon as you want to grab something things get even more awkward. With separate controls for your left and right hand, picking stuff up becomes hilariously difficult, to the point where you’ll grab the wrong thing, accidentally throw an item at someone or start dragging an innocent bystander across the road instead of whatever you were initially aiming at. It turns into chaos quickly, but that’s part of the fun. By making the controls intentionally mushy you get a real sense of the unknown when trying to carry out a task – it’s annoying at first, but soon just becomes part of the charm of the game. You never know fun until you get punched in the face by a street bongo player because you tried to play his spare bongos and instead grabbed him by the head and threw him to the floor.
But also there just so much to get sidetracked by. You might be on your way to carry out a certain task, but then… what’s this… explosives? What would happen if I threw those into that cafe and… oh, they stuck to that guy’s head and… oh. Oh no. Still, it turns out you get an in-game achievement for blowing someone’s head off, so that’s something. I also accidentally ran myself over with a steamroller, got run over by a car and fell from the top of a very tall building, all while making my way across town to one of my objectives.
And if that wasn’t enough, a post-release update has enable Player vs Player games as well, so you can now enjoy some cross-platform chaos by trying to do all of these nasty things to other players while at the same time keeping your own limbs intact and not being on the receiving end of a swiftly-swung cricket bat.
There’s isn’t much structure here at all, and if you want a game that’ll guide you through bit by bit and give you a fully fair shot at completing everything, then give up before you even start. But if you want a fun, crazy game (or you’re a Twitch streamer and want something that your community will love to watch) then this is worth a look. It’s inexpensive, funny, and absolutely insane, and while you won’t be spending months going back to it there’s enough here to entertain.
Reviewed on PS5/PS4