April 8, 2013 5:55 PM | Paul Hack
Developer Stuart Madafiglio, author of the excellent Stranger than Fiction, has released a new game and it's a corker. No-One Has to Die is a puzzle game with moral choices, branching paths, and a fascinating mystery to unravel.
You find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time when you are delivering a package and end up dealing with the aftermath of murder and sabotage. The building is on fire, four people are still alive but trapped, and you are in a position to guide (some) of them to safety. From a control room, you use mouse clicks to shut fire doors and issue orders to the survivors. Between conversations on the company's instant messaging system, you conduct computer simulations and choose who gets to live and who has to die.
The turn-based puzzles consist of choosing a fire door to shut, then moving survivors and having them operate water valves. Fire spreads every turn, and so does water once it's turned on. Closed doors and water will contain the conflagration, and you must halt its spread for two turns in a row in order to pass the level. Both fire and water will kill your survivors, and remember that not everyone can make it out alive.
To truly complete this game, almost everyone has to die. After your first playthrough, you'll find that you only know part of the story. Using a handy flowchart, you can go back and replay each puzzle, making a different choice as to who survives. You have to explore each possibility to reveal the entire narrative, and I highly recommend that you do so.
No-One Has to Die is Stuart Madafiglio's entry in the clay.io Got Game? HTML5 Game Development Competition.