Move or Die is a very appropriate title. This is a game where you have a health bar that is constantly refilling, unless you stop moving. As soon as you do it drops quickly, killing you unless you get moving again. This isn’t really the focus of the game, or even a key mechanic that you have to think about all the time, it’s more of a way to set the tone of the game, a game where everyone is constantly moving and planning ahead has to be balanced with dealing with whatever is going on right now. Move or Die is a fairly simple single-screen multiplayer party game where you and up to three others (local or online or a combination of the two) compete over a series of extremely short minigames where the goal is nearly always just to be the last person surviving. Death comes quickly and often but this is part of the charm.
The minigames in Movie or Die all share roughly the same controls which makes switching between them simple enough. They are singular in your objective, in one you must race to the finish line, in another you’ve got to try and survive while all the floor is disappearing over a pit of death dealing blocks, in another you are constantly gracefully somersaulting through the air and can fire guns at each other as you spin, trying to take the others out.
In an interesting move you level up by winning games and then every time you level you get to unlock a mystery box. Sometimes this will be a skin for your character but sometimes it’s a whole new game mode. Cleverly these are all Steam Inventory items so you can buy a particular skin or game mode if you want it, or you can even sell it. Some of the game modes are rarer than others such as the Legendary-Tier Chainsaw Backstab which sees you fighting with chainsaws that only do damage if you hit someone from behind. If you own this item you can pick it as one of the five minigames you want to play in a game, and then everyone in your lobby gets to play it. We picked one of these up and were shocked to see it was selling for £15 on the Marketplace. We’re going to be cynical and assume the devs are the ones paying these prices to inflate the prices of parts of their game but it definitely adds a new incentive to do well in games when you realise you could win something that’s actually worth money.
The minigames themselves are a lot of fun but because many of them need to be unlocked the base game feels strangely limited. Each game is simple, which makes it perfect for a party game, but they struggle to hold your interest after three or four repeats, which can happen within a single match. There’s a huge problem with skill mismatches too – all of the games are predominantly skill based so if anyone in your group has played each one before, they’re going to win. Nintendo smartly avoided this in many of their games by adding mechanics to equalise the playing field a little between skill and luck (I’m looking at you Blue Shell) but in Move or Die it can quickly become a one-sided battle, particularly online where there’s a small community that’s quite hardcore and willing to destroy anyone they get matched up against.
Move or Die is best played with friends (like any party game) and the fact both local and online multiplayer is an option is a huge bonus. It’s certainly a lot of fun in short bursts and for £10.99 it’s not too expensive either. Just don’t expect to get hours and hours of fun out of it.