As proven by the recent release of Bioshock Infinite, video games can be on the odd occasion very clever. They can provide a story that is thought provoking and needs discussion in order to be fully explained. No One Has To Die, a free-to-play browser-based flash game, is much like Infinite in many respects. It makes you think on different levels and in my case needed some discussion to be fully understood. It is also very clever with the execution of its story and keeps you on your toes right up to the end.
No One Has To Die focuses around the break out of a fire in office block. You, the visitor to the offices have stumbled into control of the security system and have to decide who survives. As the story progresses and each character dies you learn more about what’s going on from the surviving members. Problem is, you won’t find out the full story until you have explored every eventuality. The explanation of the story at each stage is text-based and whilst not written to maximum potential is well-considered. Choosing who survives to the next stage is done by completion of a grid based puzzle. As the fire spreads one block at a time you need to turn on sprinklers, lock doors and move your characters in order for your chosen people to live or die accordingly.
No One Has To Die is more thought provoking in twenty minutes than many games are in twenty hours. The way it drip feeds you bits of information as you complete each story line is brilliant and the conclusion whilst not delivered in the best manner is satisfying. Working this out in my head and discussing it with friends easily took up the same amount of time as I spent playing it which is more than I can say for many, many other games I have played. I can’t explain much more without giving away any plot spoilers, but if you can find a spare twenty minutes or so in which to play this, I guarantee you won’t regret it.
No One Has To Die can be played free in your browser here.