It’s always tough to figure out how to work comedy into a video game. I think point-and-click adventure games have the best chance of translating written jokes into an interactive format, but that mostly works by limiting how you interact with them. On the other side of things are games like Conker’s Bad Fur Day, which deploy comedy through crudeness. Just Die Already falls into that camp, but manages to make the core gameplay intrinsically linked to its crass sense of humor.
Content warning: This game is bloody and gory and morbid and thinks that those things about itself are damn funny. If that sounds upsetting to you, please stop reading this review now.
The basic concept of Just Die Already is that you are an old-aged person in a world overrun with boomers. You know your time will be up soon, and it’s clear that everyone wishes it’d be up just a bit sooner. However, you’ve got stuff to do! You have a bucket list of things you’d like to experience before you shuffle loose the mortal coil, so you set out to do as much of them as you can.
After a quick tutorial, Just Die Already drops you into a compact and dense open-world city that is chock-full of stuff to interact with as you try to check off everything on your bucket list. Unfortunately, most of the things you can interact with are lethal in one way or another. Fortunately, most of the things on your bucket list are directly related to harming yourself… for some reason.
Just Die Already is All Hijinks All the Time
From a gameplay perspective, this is a physics-based sandbox game where you pilot your wobbly old person around like a mech with control sticks made sculpted from Jello. Each of your hands can grab objects in the world with separate buttons, assuming you haven’t lost one of your hands in a horrible steamroller-related incident. Your job as the player is just to run around chaotically getting your character horribly maimed, mutilated, and ultimately killed, before respawning to do it all over again.
This game is dumb. You will spend most of your time in Just Die Already with limbs missing or broken while your character flops around like a fish in a bounce house. If the game's morbid sense of absurd humor matches with yours, you’ll probably be cackling the whole time you play it.
If the comedy doesn't click with you, you’ve probably vomited in your mouth while reading this article and would do so again while playing this game.
And you’ve got to be careful with vomiting in your own mouth because my time with this game has me pretty convinced that doing that can lead to the top half of your head blowing off, and you’d look really silly with just your bottom jaw waggling around.