Do you like arcade puzzle games? How about sacrificing your friends in co-op games? Then look no further than REZ PLZ, a game that has all this and more. Welcome to the crazy world where you can work with or against your brother to solve puzzles, save your town, and much more.
The story in REZ PLZ is a pretty straight forward one. The game starts by introducing the two main characters, who happen to be brothers. You and your brother aren’t the brightest of students in your sorcery class, and you’re late to class… again. After showing up to class late, your teacher asks you to prove that you studied the fire spell that was assigned as homework the day before. However, everyone knows that you went out drinking the night before. In “demonstrating” the fire spell, you blow your brother up and pass out.
After waking up in the hospital room and thinking it was all a dream, your brother pops out of the bed next to yours and shows you the resurrection scroll that the nurse used on him. Suddenly, an evil sorcerer starts to lay siege to your town and takes it over. After trying to run away, the evil sorcerer throws you down a well and into the first level. Now, it’s up to you and your brother, armed with the resurrection scroll, to beat the villain and save your town.
REZ PLZ is a breath of fresh air when it comes to its witty banter between the two brothers. From the very beginning, when one brother says “We should not have gone out drinking last night”, to one brother blowing the other one up on accident, this game keeps you laughing. Although, the lack of voice acting for this game could be considered a mistake when it comes to these kinds of jokes and banter, because it could have taken them to another level. However, the text box dialogue gives players that arcade-y feel that REZ PLZ brings to the table.
Now, one thing this game does well is bring some humor that is self-aware into the mix. One of the best lines in the game is when the two brothers are thrown down a well and land perfectly on the ground. This prompts one brother to say, “Sweet! No fall damage!” before getting crushed by a falling rock. The fact that this knows it’s a game makes every joke even funnier as you progress further through REZ PLZ.
Time to Die
The gameplay of REZ PLZ is full of witty banter, clever puzzles, and great co-op potential. However, you may be wondering how the resurrection thing works as a part of this game. Right from the beginning of the game, when one brother blows the other one up in a spell gone wrong, you are introduced to the resurrection scroll. The game explains that it is a powerful magic scroll that can resurrect you anytime you die. However, there is one catch. You need lazarus stones to charge and use the scroll each time a resurrection occurs. Luckily, the game provides each brother with three lazarus stones. Also, each level contains a few lazarus stones for the brothers to collect, so that they can die multiple times before running out.
During each level, there are quite a few clever mechanics you need to complete in order to proceed to the end of the level. The levels contain chains you can swing on, buttons you have to push, and fires that need to be lit (by a fireball or your body). Other level mechanics involve attacking enemies with your staff, using spells you learn, and the occasional wall jumping. All of these mechanics give each level a chance to be a unique, challenging experience for the players.
The best part of REZ PLZ is the dying mechanic. As it normally is in any other game you play, you try not to die. However, in REZ PLZ, dying is required to succeed. In many levels, you will come across spikes on the floor and walls, lava pits, and flame traps, and your first instinct is to get around these obstacles. However, in many instances, one player has to sacrifice themselves so that the other one can get by. This means jumping onto the spikes or in the lava so the other brother can use your body as a platform to jump off of.
Playing co-op can cause a lot of laughing when you both realize someone has to sacrifice themselves on the spikes so that the other may progress. And even the “accidental” deaths where one player pushes the other into the lava or spikes to help the decision making go faster can make for memorable gameplay.
Solo vs Co-op
One thing that REZ PLZ does right is bringing couch co-op back. While playing, you have the option to play solo or local co-op. Playing solo is possible, however, playing local co-op is the choice you want to make to get the full experience the game has to offer. When playing solo, both brothers are still required to complete each level. Because of this requirement, the game provides you with the ability to switch between brothers by pressing Y. This adds a bit of a disadvantage to your gameplay, but completing every level is still possible this way.
Now, on to the right way to play this game: the co-op option. In co-op, you and your partner of choice control one brother each while completing each level. Using two players makes the game so much better and lets you experience the game to its fullest potential. And with co-op comes great potentials to mess around. I mean, the whole point of this game is dying right? Of course you’re going to push your friend into the pit of lava and even throw them into some spikes. Why wouldn’t you? However, when playing the game “appropriately” on the co-op option, the fact that someone else is controlling one of the two brothers makes the game flow so much smoother than playing on the solo option.
At the end of every level, the game provides you a rating based on your time and number of deaths. This provides an opportunity to replay each level, once you know what you are doing and how to successfully play the game. Also, the game has several unlockables hidden in the levels. This ranges from unlocking different fairies that follow you to new resurrection animations.
Overall, REZ PLZ is an enticing arcade puzzle game that cleverly uses the concept of dying to advance through levels. What it lacks in visuals and story, this game makes up for in witty banter and clever puzzles.
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Note: We received a review code from Graffiti Games