In this uncertain time where mental health is more of a concern than ever, there might have been a better title for Chubby Pixel's Suicide Guy. Oddly enough, the title does offer a good description of the game, but it's not what it sounds like. Suicide Guy doesn't deal with mental illness or depression; rather, it's a wacky, slapstick first-person puzzler with a clever hook that is unfortunately partially spoiled by buggy, sloppy presentation.
In Suicide Guy, you play as a drunken, fat slob of a man who falls asleep with his beer in his hand. In his dreams, he sees the beer about to hit the floor, and must go through several different stages, presented as dreams in a bizarre diner hub world, to kill himself in order to wake up. The story makes as much sense as the most abstract fever dream, and that's okay, because the gameplay is what matters here. There are over 20 stages in which you must figure out how to, quite literally, die. Early stages have you trying to get hit by a train, while some stages parody other video games, such as Valve's Portal series and even Super Mario Bros..
The individual levels are quite charming and each of them is completely different than the last, but they all play the same. Each level is its own puzzle. In one memorable sequence, we were dropped into an abandoned suburban house where we had to figure out how to fill the bath tub with water. What happened once the tub was filled with water? Let's just say our parents would have been very upset after teaching us not to bring electric items near water. Other levels, like the aforementioned Super Mario Bros. parody, had us wondering how we were supposed to die, only for a very clever twist on the traditional death by spikes to do us in. It would be a shame to reveal the ingenious solutions of the various stages, but suffice to say they're all funny and all of them end up strangely making sense. There are also collectible statues in each stage, for completionists out there.
Unfortunately, the experience is hampered by several technical issues. The first-person perspective is okay, but the right-stick camera is finicky. Picking up objects is easy, but placing them where you want is often a crap-shoot due to the half-baked physics system, which has a mind of its own. You can throw items, but we experienced more than one occasion where we could no longer reach the item we threw and had to restart the stage.
And it must be said: turn off vibrations in the options menu immediately. Every jump, every interaction makes the Joy-Con vibrate way too strongly and loudly. Hopefully, a patch can fix this, because as it is now the vibration is totally broken. You will also have to get used to long loading times and framerate hiccups throughout.
The colorful, rounded 3D environments are cute and suit the game's madcap style quite well. The music is generic, but can be switched off by an in-game radio (that can also be used to solve puzzles). We were able to complete the game in about four hours, but it can be completed in a shorter amount of time, or longer, depending on your puzzle solving skills.
There's fun to be had in Suicide Guy. There's a nice variety of situations and environments and exploring each stage can be a blast. The technical problems are what ultimately drag Suicide Guy down. Still, if you can get past the bugs and glitches, there's a nifty little puzzle game waiting for you on the eShop.