March 10, 2022
One of my pet peeves in gaming is how often party games get overlooked. When gathering with a group of friends it’s so common to see Mario Kart or Super Smash Bros get wheeled out again, and while those games are obviously phenomenal there are hundreds of other options just waiting to charm your friends. Why not battle to become the ultimate confection in Cake Bash, or work together to cook up a storm in Overcooked instead? The latest game on my party playlist that everyone should try out is Move or Die: Unleashed.
Move or Die throws together a bunch of 2d platforming minigames with one thing in common, if you don’t move you die. This means regardless of if you’re trying to gather up treasure or shoot hoops with a basketball, if you aren’t moving you’ll explode and lose the game. Jumping around doesn’t count either, which means plenty of ground based traps are in your future.
There are three main ways to play Move or Die: Unleashed, alone with bots, locally or online. As you might imagine the bot option is the saddest, but is helpful for learning the games before jumping into a big session. Playing with real people is a ton of fun though, especially in the same room for all that fantastic trash talking and falling out.
The variety of games in Move or Die is really impressive, with very few I was disappointed to play. At the start of a round each player picks a few of their favourites to go into a big random pool of games, and the first person to score enough points gets some serious bragging rights as the supreme champion. Each game only lasts about a minute, so even if you aren’t a fan of a particular one it won’t take long for it to be over.
A lot of games involve dodging incoming hazards, be they blocks from the ceiling, exploding barrels, or Superhot bullets that only move when you do. Some games are more combative though. Spider Bomb sees you trying to drop floor crawling bombs to trap your rivals, Chainsaw Backstab is a frantic rush to the exposed back of your friends, and one of my personal favourites Heavy Bullet sees everyone fighting over two reusable bullets to try and turn each other into coloured paste. Each game is over before you get a chance to blink, and complements the “Move or Die” mechanic perfectly.
The more outlandish minigames are some of the best. Painting the most floor is great for screwing over “that one friend”, Beat the Boss is an entertaining 3 vs 1 minigame that has everyone try to deal the most damage to a huge player, and Bomb Tag is frantic rush to pass a dynamite jacket to somebody else before it explodes. It’s fair to say that a lot of the minigames have been done before, but with constant movement required the pace is more frantic than any multiplayer game I’ve ever played.
If the high octane loop of minigames somehow isn’t enough for you, there’s the option to add mutators to the match. Every few games a new player will be selected to choose a mutator out of a random three offered, and they absolutely change the game. One mutation swaps the premise entirely and drains your life when you move, one swaps the location of everyone at 5 second intervals, one even changes the control scheme into a golf game. I found myself often choosing the least distracting mutator (or turning them off altogether) because honestly it just felt a bit overwhelming.
To make sure you stand out from your friends, there are a huge variety of characters and trails available to choose from before you start the chaos. Whether you want to be an adorable slice of toast or a walking arse, there’s sure to be something to suit you. I personally enjoyed beating up my buds while playing as Rick (of Rick and Morty) leaving a trail of Bitcoin logos.
If you play online, you’ll gain coins that you can spend at the store. Although every game mode is available immediately offline, to choose some of your favourites online more reliably you’ll need to pay up. There’s also a collective online debt you can help pay off, which unlocks a load of cool skins at regular intervals. I never really felt the need for all these reasons to play, but the progression will be appreciated by some people I’m sure.
Move or Die: Unleashed is a wonderful party game to stick on with your buddies if you’re feeling bored of the usual suspects. The pace is absolutely breakneck, and the variety of games is so refreshing. As long as everyone is able to keep up with the action, you’ll have a great time throwing each other under the bus and aiming for multiplayer glory.
A fast paced multiplayer frenzy
A huge amount of minigame variety
Great online and locally
Lots of skins to pick from
Mutations are a bit much
Playing with bots isn’t ideal
Move or Die: Unleashed is an absolute blast with friends, with plenty of fast paced minigames to trash talk and squabble over.