Death And Taxes Gamescom 2020 Impressions

I was interested to know what this game is all about ever since I read its title. Death And Taxes, come on, this definitely sounds like an interesting title for a game. I was definitely not disappointed with the result.

In this 2D narrative game you play the role of a Grim Reaper, reborn from the will of Fate to work an office job deciding which human will get to live and die after the end of your 9 to 5. Death And Taxes uses similar mechanics like Papers, Please, sprinkled with a lot of black humour.

I played the first week on the job (that’s how much the Steam demo allows you to play) and in the end, I got evaluated for my work. The day consists of sitting on your desk, playing with your skull shaped fidget spinner and checking social media. Like a proper office job. When you DO get to actually do some work, you have to read the instructions that mention how many people should die that day and note if there are people that need to stay alive (maybe there’s some pandemic happening in the world and people with medical backgrounds need to keep working for example).

When you finish each day, Fate evaluates your performance and sends you on your merry way. Some times you have the option to discuss what was happening in the world during the work day and how that affected your decisions. The writing is top notch and the discussions can turn pretty philosophical, which will stop you on your tracks for a bit, thinking what you want to answer. If you stayed up late with a close friend, talking for hours about life, death and the universe, I believe you will get a similar feeling from these conversations.

The whole demo oozes of dark, smart and witty writing, from the moment you watch the intro (a funny nod to The Beatles’ Abbey Road), to the background description of the people that tightrope on the scale of Life and Death, to the next day tweets mentioning how people died or what people did after they were granted the gift of living. Really great work from Placeholder Gameworks. The Steam description mentions that the choices will be meaningful, in a branching storyline with various endings. This will be very interesting to see indeed.

Not much more to say, Death And Taxes is already out, on special promotion because of Gamescom 2020 so, if you like games like Papers, Please, definitely check it out. I personally loved it.

Watch the trailer here.
Check the demo and buy the game on Steam here.

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