While most games will give you an idea of what they’re about in its title, few of them are as direct and obvious as Kill the Bad Guy. The focus and primary objective of the game is laid pretty clearly in its name.
Kill the Bad Guy is a simple set-piece puzzle game that has you setting up traps and finding unique and interesting ways to kill a bevvy of bad people who have managed to live amongst ordinary citizens, free from the eyes of the police. Throughout the 60 missions, you’ll devise plans to crush, burn, flatten, electrocute and blow up a bunch of deservingly bad people, all the while making it look like an accident.
Kill The Bad Guy: PS4, Xbox One [Reviewed], PC
Publisher: Plug In Digital
Release Date: 31 January 2017
Price: £5.99 [Disclosure: Game Copy Provided by Publisher]
The gameplay is pretty simple and straightforward. In each level players are placed in an area about the size of a few city blocks where the bad guy walks on a pre-determined route. It is your job as the assassin to use the objects in the area and combine them in ways to lure the target to a secluded area and kill the target. Some examples include being able to sabotage a car and activate it to run over the target as he walks across it, or causing an oil spill and lighting up on fire as the target walks over it, or the tried and true method of simply dropping a piano over him from the roof of a building.
However, targets will react to anything they find suspicious, particularly if it happens right in front of their cone of vision. If they see random objects thrown at them, or signs being dropped from seemingly out of nowhere, they will instantly flee the scene which fails the mission. Because you use items thrown at or used towards an enemy who’s walking most of the time, the game has a physics based puzzle element where timing is critical in conducting the ultimate assassination.
While the idea is fairly simple and straightforward, the game does make things more difficult and complicated in the later levels. For instance, later levels will include security cameras and pedestrians that will lead to mission failure if you kill the target in front of them.
So not only will you have to find a way to kill the bad guy without him noticing, but you’ll also have to figure out a way to do it away from the eyes of the bystanders and outside the field of vision of cameras. Furthermore, the game also adds secondary objective that gives a better mission score. The descriptions of these secondary objectives are often pretty vague, but typically involve killing the bad guy with a specific object in the environment, or in a specific location.
Despite its name, the violence isn’t gory, but rather comical both in tone and ragdoll animation when you do manage to kill said bad guy. Some involve incredibly ridiculous circumstances, such as dropping a wrecking ball on the target, rigging a manhole to explode underneath the target as he walks over it, or fashioning a catapult to fling a dead dog at the target and take him out that way. Blood typically splatters all over after a kill, and the target will always drop a tooth that you can pick up immediately as a bonus objective. The backgrounds they give for the targets are often humorous and sometimes allude to a person in the real world.
Kill the Bad Guy isn’t without its flaws, however. The games monochromatic visual style looks neat at first, but get tiresome after a while. The same could be said of the gameplay, which feels repetitive as all of the unique ways of killing the bad guy are featured by the halfway mark of the game, and so you’re simply retreading the same methods albeit in a more challenging environment.
The game also feels better suited for a mobile platform or PC, as it can be challenging at times to organise all the objects in the environment to lay the perfect trap for the bad guy with a controller. Most levels can be completed in a few minutes once you figure out the solution which also adds to the idea that this game would be best suited for gaming on the go.
Kill the Bad Guy isn’t without its moments of fun and humour, but those moments become more repetitive and frustrating as the game drags on. Certain levels feel more luck based as to whether or not the solution will work despite the exact same setup, and the imprecision of the controls using a controller over a mousepad or touchscreen only needlessly adds to the difficulty. While the premise and the gameplay is interesting enough to make for a fun hour or two, the lack of variety along with the repetitive nature of the later levels makes Kill the Bad Guy a puzzle game that never quite lives up to its potential.