Death's Door Crow

How do you make one of the best games of the year even better? You make it portable! It’s literally that simple! Well, to be fair, I don’t really know how simple it is, because I’m not a developer. But I do know that Death’s Door is awesome, and now that it’s on Nintendo Switch, it’s even more awesome thanks to the portability it allows.

But really, there’s more to it than just the fact that you can take Death’s Door on the go with you. This is, for all intents and purposes, a Zelda-like game, and as a Zelda-like game, it’s something that just feels right at home on a Nintendo platform.

Death's Door - Mansion

In Death’s Door, you play as a soul-collecting crow who gathers the spirits of the dead for a 9-to-5 day job. Like any office job, it can be a slog for our crow protagonist, who has to deal with some annoying management and coworkers. But one day, things get interesting, as a soul you were assigned to collect is stolen. Our crow pal is then tasked with hunting down that lost soul. 

There have been some comparisons made between Death’s Door and the Soulslike genre, but honestly, this game has very little in common with Dark Souls and other similar titles. It’s really more in line with the classic Legend of Zelda style. It’s a little hack-and-slash-y, and you progress by completing a combination of combat and puzzle-based challenges.

Defeating enemies large and small rewards you with souls that act as the game’s currency. When you’re not battling baddies and big bosses, you can take this currency to the hub world, which is a cross between the afterlife and a sterile office workplace. Here you can upgrade your damage, speed, and so on. Unlike in actual Soulslikes, you won’t lose your collected souls if you die, which removes a bit of the pressure despite the fact that Death’s Door is still a pretty tough game.

Death's Door - Office

Aside from improving your character’s stats, you’ll also find upgrades along the way. You start out with a simple yet effective bow and arrow that uses a magic meter. Eventually, though, you can discover additional abilities, such as fire that you can use to light up enemies or solve environmental puzzles and bombs that can be used to blow up cracked walls and other obstacles.

Combat in Death’s Door is fairly challenging. You’re usually outnumbered by enemies. Sometimes, you’ll take on a few smaller goons, while other times you’ll be overwhelmed by said goons and their larger, more intimidating counterparts. The action here never feels dumbed down, and even though you can lightly mash away to slice and dice through enemies, you still have to play carefully so you don’t take too much damage.

Death's Door - Swamp

Death’s Door is some of the most fun I’ve had with a game in 2021. I previously called it one of the most complete games I’ve played in a while, but if there’s some way to make something even more complete, putting it on Nintendo Switch would be it.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t play Death’s Door if you don’t own a Switch. Quite the contrary. You should totally play Death’s Door anywhere you can if you just enjoy fun, stylish games with quirky themes, nice art, and engrossing gameplay. The reason it works so well on Switch, though, is because it feels like the long-lost sibling of 2019’s The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening on Switch. Seriously, if there was some sort of two-pack that included both of these games, it would just make sense.

Sure, Death’s Door is a tad more action-y than most mainline Zelda games, but there’s still plenty of gameplay crossover between this game and the more compact entries in The Legend of Zelda. That’s to say, if you’re looking for a quality action-adventure game to play on Switch and you’re hungry for more Zelda, you should probably — no, definitely — play Death’s Door posthaste.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x