I've never really been able to figure out what Square Enix's deal is with the App Store. They go from releasing full iOS-exclusive titles like Chaos Rings [$7.99] to flat-out weird "games" like Voice Fantasy [$2.99] (among other zany titles). The just-released 774 Deaths [$0.99] seems to come from the same "why does this exist" department as Sliding Heroes [$0.99].

Billed as a "murderously difficult action platformer" 774 Deaths, according to Squeenix, is "certain to chew up and spit out even the world's best gamers." The format of the game goes a little something like this- You play a pixelated little dude going through rooms filled with locked doors. To progress through the doors, you need to complete the mini-games that each room has to offer you.

So far, I've been given the choice of four games, each with the same basic principle of navigating your guy to the end of the level while avoiding what appear to be blood covered blades. Each "game" has a different control method. There's an auto-runner style game where you tap the screen to jump, a platformer style game with virtual controls, a vertical falling game controlled via tilting, and a similar tilt controlled top-down maze-style game.

None are particularly interesting, and I really can't quite decide if the game itself is difficult, or if the controls are just terrible. Either way, you beat two of the games inside the room you're currently in, the next room unlocks, and you repeat the process. Admittedly, I'm stuck on the third room right now, but there hasn't been much variation to speak of yet. Per the iTunes description, there are 9 rooms in all.

I'm reluctant to call this a "review," since, as mentioned, I've basically reached a stopping point in the game right now. With that being said, I haven't really found what I have been able to get through to be that enjoyable, and like way too many things that Square farts out on to the App Store, 774 Deaths just has me wondering why an iOS port of Final Fantasy VI doesn't exist. I'd buy that at a high price. (And I'd even say that in the same tone of voice as the merchant dude in Resident Evil 4.)

For what it's worth, people in our forums seem to be enjoying 774 Deaths. So, if you're a glutton for punishment, give it a shot…?

  • http://twitter.com/kimitsu キミツ

    Based off the music, the 8-bit style, and the Japanese fondness for number puns (774 can be read as "Nanashi"), I would hazard a guess that this is linked to the horror game series that never saw a release in the West, Nanashi no Game, and is probably the translation of the Nanashi no Application listed on the wiki page: 
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanashi_no_Game 

  • http://adam2046.wordpress.com/ Adam

    Started the trailer, wondered what it was and then ctrl+f4'd hard when the Nanashi no Game theme started up.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanashi_no_Game
    http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/nanashinogame/nanashinogame.htm

    Took a while to realise it was safe to play the vid without fearing a change of pants.

  • JCat_NY

    There seems to be a trend of insanely difficult platform games. Perhaps Super Meat Boy started it, and  I'm sure there's an audience for gruelingly-difficult platform games, but some of these are making even the MegaMan series seem like Disney produced, Mickey jump fest.

     Is each company going to try to outdo each other, and summon an audience with a tagline like  "Even the most insanely hard core psycho gamer from hell will die a million times".

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5FLRQI2X2LU3IHMCG7HEAEFD5I Cat Astrophy

      I Wanna Be The Guy: The Movie: The Game started it imo

  • http://twitter.com/crunchewy Crunchewy

    I think this game is pretty great. It's not for everyone, but I like it a lot. If you liked the XBLIG game Aban Hawkins & The 1000 Spikes, you'll probably like this one. Yes, the game is super difficult, but each play of a level gets you closer to completing it. It's all about memorizing how the level progresses, and then executing. It's pretty much impossible to complete a level on the first try, and likely will require many tries. Thumbs up from me.

  • http://twitter.com/rifflesby Riff Conner

    Oh god. I'm glad I'm not the only one who recognized the music as being from Nanashi no Game and almost peed.

  • http://www.the-app-shack.com Matt F

    Definitely a game not for everyone, specially the weak

  • Ben

    You said Squeenix too many times.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5FLRQI2X2LU3IHMCG7HEAEFD5I Cat Astrophy

      I miss Squaresoft

  • http://twitter.com/SnaevarTor Snævar Þór

    You want a port of FFVI? Jailbreak your device.

  • Michael Perrigo

    It's not confusing. The idea for the game goes back to Square's VERY FIRST GAME EVER! Death Trap

    http://www.ign.com/games/the-death-trap/pc88-822100 

  • Michael Perrigo

    It's not confusing. This game is based on Square's VERY FIRST GAME: The Death Trap! :)

    http://www.ign.com/games/the-death-trap/pc88-822100

  • ATMB

    That music made me feel a ghost touch on my back.. Nanashi no game is something that could make someone kill himself... Especially if you listen to that music, knowing it, in your bed at 2.52 am...