Felix the Reaper Review

Richard Walker

Felix the Reaper is a weird little puzzle curio. Comprising a grid-based selection of 3D isometric maps to wrap your head around, your job, as the eponymous jolly dancing harbinger of death, is to ensure the demise of a series of targets. This involves lining everything up accordingly to orchestrate your quarry's doom, then watching your grisly handiwork unfold. At first glance, Felix the Reaper is that most overused of words: charming. But give it time and you'll find a controller-throwing, bloody bastard of a puzzle game.

Felix is a sweet dealer of death, dressed in a dapper suit and headphones, boogying incessantly while striving to carry out his job and win the heart of Betty, the maiden from The Ministry of Life. In the human world, Felix has to stick to the shadows, which means avoiding sunlight at any cost by shifting between two angles using your sundial. Felix the Reaper purely involves moving objects from one place to another while steering clear of the light and following paths of shadow. And unfortunately, that's something that becomes pretty boring, pretty fast.

It's a real shame, because developer Kong Orange has put together a glut of genuinely fiendish logic-based puzzles, punctuated by some fairly humorous, horribly macabre death sequences. The issue is that many of them are overly convoluted, requiring infuriating mental somersaults to figure them out. Much of the time, you'll find yourself repeating the same actions in a maddening loop, consulting help via the pause menu and still struggling. Challenging puzzle games can be great. Challenging puzzle games that drive you to angry distraction aren't so great.

The best puzzle games make you feel smart when you manage to reach a resolution – Felix the Reaper made me feel like a complete idiot. And I don't need to be reminded of that fact. In fairness, Kong Orange has gone to great lengths to make a difficult game accessible, with a quick revert back to your last milestone, a level restart, and the aforementioned help function that takes you through a puzzle step by step. It's annoying, however, when the step-by-step guide can't even help you out of a jam.

I don't care how much Felix dances like a funky loon; I hate him. I hate that he has to lift barrels to block the sun, I hate that he merrily skips from square to square without a care in the world – I feel like he's mocking me and my inability to understand his stupid game. The game's 23 levels across five chapters are cleverly conceived, and there's a sense of relief to be had when you complete one. But the thought of Felix the Reaper's hardcore levels makes me want to weep. Time Trial bonus levels even more so.

For the truly insane, you can even have a go at completing every hardcore level while collecting silver coins scattered across each map. Why you'd want to subject yourself to such brain-mangling torture, however, is beyond me. Felix the Reaper's main problem – and why I won't be returning to it in a hurry – is that it's one-note. Picking up an object and moving it to the correct spot is about as fun as it sounds, and mechanics steadily introduced throughout the campaign do little to inject variation to proceedings.

There are pipes that suck you in one end and pop you out the other, levers that raise banners or signs to help block the sun, switches that move horse and carts or tuk-tuks back and forth, and moveable objects that can be stacked to lengthen shadows. It's all very intricate, but controls are fiddly and the camera swings around and zooms in and out with all the grace of a drunken pigeon. Even the rich, sexy voice of Patrick Stewart as your handler/boss fella can't elevate Felix the Reaper quite enough. As puzzle games go, this one has some fine ideas, but ultimately, it's a bit grim.

Felix the Reaper

A wretched, annoying puzzle game that consists primarily of tedious busywork. While Felix the Reaper has bags of personality, a vein of dark humour, and the inimitable voice of Sir Patrick Stewart, it regrettably isn't nearly as fun as it looks. As far as I'm concerned, Felix can go dance off the edge of a cliff.

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Some funky tunes for Felix to bop along to and some gibberish chatter. It's all part of the charm. Patrick Stewart's contribution is also predictably fantastic.


A colourful and unusual art style that's not exactly the prettiest. It does have a certain appeal, however, and is in keeping with the game's dark sense of humour.


An over-sensitive camera and repetitive gameplay conspire to mar an already complicated and annoying puzzle game. If you like moving objects around, then you'll love this.


Lovingly presented, but lacking in variety, Felix the Reaper has plenty of puzzles and modes to delve into, but whether you'll want to is another question entirely.


As if Felix the Reaper wasn't hard enough, the achievement list kicks it up a notch requiring completion of every hardcore level, time trial, and more. There's nothing remotely inventive in here either.

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