Publisher: Spiral Bound Interactive
Developer: Spiral Bound Interactive
You Will Die Here Tonight. My gamer brain scoffed at that title — undoubtedly, who’s been gaming their whole life and could get through a game without dying. Death notwithstanding, you could save and load the game when meeting an untimely demise, negating your mistakes. Getting started with YWDHT, I went through the tutorial and was confident in my abilities. I just needed to be strategic about it and take my time. Much to my dismay, my sound strategy was quickly blown apart, causing my ego to bear the brunt of the damage as I died almost immediately. Not just once. I was slaughtered over and over. I died so many times and killed so many characters that I did not even learn their names.
Upon reaching the end of all the characters’ unnatural lifespans, a screen appeared asking to continue. Yes! Much to my surprise, it started me not from the beginning but at the same spot in the game! I was quickly learning from my mistakes and improving upon each character’s death; I would finish the game in no time. My assumptions were incorrect as not much later, everyone was dead again. The game asked once more if I wanted to continue, and I spammed the x button. This time, the counter continued until it reached zero. Had I not pressed it enough? I learned later that the limited amount of k coins I collected in the game equated to arcade tokens, which allowed me to continue.
Now, finally understanding and getting the hang of the game’s mechanics, I started from the beginning and quickly made my way through the game much faster. My strategies got better, and I dodged the zombies with ease. Then came the boss battle. The fireplace spider was horrendous. If this were a real-life situation, I would have just burned down the mansion and called it a day. That house is now unlivable, and you can’t convince me otherwise. After a glitch that was quickly corrected by the developers, I soldiered on—leaving an attic decorated with webs for zombie housekeepers to handle.
The rest of the game was by the book. Follow the creepy owner of the mansion to get the key to escape. Many lost their lives yet again, but I persevered to the end. I was on my last life and somehow reached the end of the game. I got on the chopper, cheering my game prowess and mourning my lost comrades that I now felt guilty over sacrificing. Off I went, no more dying for me. Oh wait, I will die here tonight. Immediately, the helicopter crashed, and I died instantly. That’s the ending I resigned myself to.
Release day came, and I decided to stream the game for my community. I was 11 hours in, so I quickly zipped through the game. This time, I knew almost all the puzzles and the easiest way to avoid the infected. To my surprise, I had some special guests that tuned in. Some of the developers were watching the stream! It was an excellent opportunity to get insight into the game and tell them that one of their puzzles was wrong. Full disclaimer: I understand that they created the puzzle so they would know the answer, but my analytical mind did not agree. They were good sports and a pleasure to talk to. When I returned to the helicopter ride of doom, I was ready to call it quits since the game, to my understanding, looped indefinitely. Again, I was lucky to have the devs in chat because they clued me in that there was an actual ending to the game! With their help, I triggered the next part of the game. I might not have finished it if it weren’t for them, earning me the honor of being the first person to complete the game in its entirety!
Let’s delve into the specifics now. You Will Die Here Tonight is entirely inspired by Resident Evil 1. A large mansion, puzzles, zombies, herbs, and different weapons were just some similarities. The characters also had things in common with RE characters. The twist of having characters die and only having one playable character at a time made it much more fascinating. The controls took time for me to get the hang of since I was playing on a PS4 controller, but I believe it’s more accessible to keyboard and mouse players. The graphics were decent. The gameplay was a delightful combination between Resident Evil and Resident Evil Gaiden. Overall, it was an entertaining game with a lot of nostalgia and unique elements. It could be frustrating, but I had a blast once I got the hang of it. I wonder if I would have beaten the game without the dev clues, which is my only real problem with the game. Not that I needed it handed to me on a silver platter, but there were no tangible clues on how to progress in the game.
I give You Will Die Here Tonight a 7.5/10. While enjoyable and intriguing, it wasn’t the most original game. Even though I appreciate what it takes inspiration from, it relies too heavily on the inspiration. Having said that, that may have lulled me into a false sense of security, thinking I knew what to expect from the moment I started. I had to clear my mind of preconceived notions that I would know what would happen and live in the moment. That’s what I liked about You Will Die Here Tonight. I had to work at it. It was challenging. I was transported back to the ’90s without having a strategy guide or GameFAQ to aid me. I had to rely solely on my guile, and completing the game was that much more of an accomplishment!
I highly recommend playing You Will Die Here Tonight. This is your game if you love nostalgic games that will make you think.
On a final note, I challenge everyone to solve the hunting puzzle and tell me how you deduced your answer. I will die on this hill; my answer was the correct one.
Note: Spiral Bound Interactive provided us with a PC code for review purposes.