As I Lay Dying


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Rating: 4.1/5 (64 votes)
| Comments (38) | Views (49)

corygalliherAs I Lay Dying title screenshotWhat is love? (Baby don't hurt me.) Love is many things to many people. To some, love is a physical thing, while to others it's an emotional response. Teale Fristoe believes that love is expressed through devotion and makes this point quite succinctly in his new platform adventure, As I Lay Dying, created for Dig Your Own Grave.

Teale and his significant other Christie are on a hiking trip when Teale decides to stop and check out a flower on the edge of a cliff. Teale is a clumsy doofus, so of course he falls off the cliff and dies a horrible death. You, as Christie, must go on an epic quest to return Teale's corpse to his family by using it to solve various puzzles.

Yes, that's seriously what this game is about.

Control Christie with the [W], [A] and [D] keys. Use [S] to pick up and drop objects, including the aforementioned corpse, and use the [Mouse] to throw them around. Both Christie and Teale's corpse have health meters; Christie can take three hits including fall damage, while the corpse is destroyed after it's dealt a certain amount of abuse, including being picked at by pesky ravens and being thrown around by Christie. If either Christie or the corpse runs out of health, you have to restart from your most recent checkpoint or from the beginning of the level.

Thankfully, the remarkably morbid subject matter is handled with as much dark comedy as Fristoe could muster. Christie's response to Teale's death is essentially "aw crap" and there's no heavy-handed drama anywhere to be found. It goes without saying, though, that this is still fairly disturbing for Flash platformer fare and might not be good for the kids.

Anyway, it's up to Christie to get Teale's corpse home because his mother might be upset if it was ruined, so you've got to lug his corpse through ten levels of platform adventure. There are a variety of puzzles to solve, mostly involving managing the integrity of your boyfriend's rotting corpse, but the game never becomes too complex or difficult.

coryg_asilaydying_screen2.gifAnalysis: As I Lay Dying has one of the genre's more bizarre premises, but what really makes it stand out is how well the premise is integrated with the gameplay. Your worst enemies throughout the game are the ravens that are trying to make a meal out of your pet cadaver and you'll spend a lot of your time fighting them off by throwing rocks at them.

Along with dealing with the black, winged menace, you'll also use a variety of mechanisms to help you play hearse with Teale. The most common are moving platforms that are activated by hitting a switch or by throwing a rock at a nearby electrical box. There are also scales that activate only when weighed down; your erstwhile companion doesn't have any complaints if you use him for this. Again, the game doesn't become too complex, but it's engaging enough to keep the player going.

Things get a little bit repetitive; Christie is slowed considerably while carrying around the corpse, which in turn makes the game feel fairly slow. Checkpoints are available, but dying or losing the corpse still means a fair amount of backtracking. Slightly more checkpoints might have been appreciated, or at least speeding everything up in general.

There are also achievements to earn for a variety of unusual tasks, including following Teale on his faithful cliff dive. This is a fairly short game so there's only five achievements, but the attention to detail is appreciated.

All in all, this is a solid platformer with an unusual enough premise that it's worth a look. Try not to get too bogged down with the morbidity of the proceedings and just enjoy being a cadaver caravan. After all, isn't love unconditional?

Play As I Lay Dying

38 Comments

Stuck on the "Beyond Hope" level. Can't make it past those last 3 beehives.

Cute levels and awards.

5/5

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5/5

As a fan of a dark humor this game hits the nail on the head for me.
Original and funny. :)

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freezes for me after intro movie. in both firefox and chrome

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Works for me in both Firefox and Chrome. =/

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Fun game, except she kept moving after I let up on the key, causing me to fall into oblivion repeatedly until I ragequit (that might be because of my browser). Other than that, the four levels I was able to play were hilarious!

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freezes for me too :/

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hothotpot Author Profile Page December 8, 2010 4:32 PM

The game is freezing for me immediately after the opening, as well. I'm using Chrome. Maybe the server is overloading?

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I'm also having problems with the game freezing. After the opening sequence, the controls don't respond.

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Freezing for me too. Guess I'll try later...

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Another freezer here.

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Now it's freezing for me, too. I've just sent the developers a note, hopefully they'll sort it out soon.

Please try it again a little later.

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thanks jay :P

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DigYourOwnGrave December 8, 2010 4:56 PM

Hi guys, sorry about that. I had to move the game file to an alternate server and apparently that's causing the lock-up. I've moved it back to where it should work, but you may need to hard refresh (CTRL-F5) your browser.

Also, be warned the loading time might be a little slow until I fix this properly.

Thanks for your patience!

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Incidentally, you definitely want sound for this game; it's by no means required, but the voice-acting from Christie is a big part of what made it work for me. She's captioned, so you get to read the "aw, crap" lines, but her blase delivery makes them even better.

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Noooooooooooooooooooo!

IT DIDN'T SAVE THIS TIME!
IT SAVED THE LAST TIME!

-.-

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Yay for grim humor!

"Teale!
...
God damn it, Teale.
You couldn't admire from a distance?"
nomnomnom
"Deb would be heartbroken if her son's corpse was ruined."

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The Great Dane December 8, 2010 7:07 PM

I'm stuck at the second to last stage. Can someone help me? I got almost to the end of it, but I can't get enough weight for the last scale.

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Voice acting had no emotion :P Upon finding her dead boyfriend, she was just like (I'm paraphrasing) "oh no. my boyfriend has died. whatever shall i do. silly teale. i might as well take his body back." It was kinda funny.

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lol Just last week I discovered the famous 6 word chapter from the book As I Lay Dying...... My mother was a fish HAHAHA!

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fattywads Author Profile Page December 8, 2010 8:49 PM

Game looks pretty cool at first until you get to the mind numbing tedium of level 5 where if you are 1 pixel off you have to start over! yay! way to so exacting the game isnt worth playing!

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I, too, am finding that this game becomes mind-numbingly tedious around the halfway point... at least for those of us who aren't experts at platformers. I know what I have to do, but I mess it up over and over and over and over and over. I won't criticize the game on that point, because I know that for some other players, this level of difficulty is just right.

On the other hand, I loved the unexpected nuances to the game's physics and AI. I think it's a great idea to let the player

use bits of corpse as projectiles, to activate scales, or to distract vultures from the main dish. It was hilarious standing on a scale-activated platform and trying to shoo away the bird that was threatening to eat my ballast.

I felt like the game was really rewarding me for thinking and exploring.

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Vulture stage...how?

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Help on the "Beyond Hope"?

3 beehives at the end. I can smash one before starting the platform.

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Cool! I somehow killed a vulture! How did I do that?

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qoalabear Author Profile Page December 9, 2010 1:40 AM

It took me forever to realize, but for the vulture stage,

Unlike ravens, you can kill vultures. But only while they're eating.

I seem to get best results by throwing a projectile while standing to the right. (Since they always eat with their head on the right side) You can then use the vulture corpse as bait, to weigh down scales, or even hit other vultures!

Particularly on the last level, I found it worthwhile to put Teale someplace safe and go vulture hunting so they'd be out of my hair for getting Teale through.

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The last level was difficult. The corpse kept falling apart. I eventually got through it though.

The ending was a bit disturbing.

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Phew. The first vulture level, when you have to cross the final gap - put the dead vultures on the switch platform and Teale on the crank platform. 2 vultures should be enough to distract the ravens until Teale makes it across.

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I swear Faulkner is huanting me...

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"The one and only love of my life just died. Crap."

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Ravens&Rocks December 10, 2010 5:24 PM

Can't seem to get past the second lot of ravens because platform has to be manned to operate other platform descending. Also, not sure about the function of the camera flash.

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I can't get past the firs level due to the window scrolling down whenever I press the spacebar. Does anyone else have this problem?

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i have played the last level over and over but i keep messing up on the last part before the exit!!!! it's so frustrating!
really, i don't care about HOW to beat it, just what happens afterwards. "bluemoose19" said something about the ending; could you elaborate?

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"mane dude" the ending is..........

Christie reaches civilization and then decides to keep the corpse for awhile long

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digitalrushdude January 1, 2011 7:45 PM

note to linux users: the current flash plugin for linux does not appear to let you be able to jump and throw at the same time in this game, therefore until this is fixed, you wont be able to pass level 5 :/

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honestly, i think you can do better than that. any specific events or monolog/dialog? Having put so much work into the game, i think the designer would have wanted to end with a bang.

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MisunderstoodGirl XD April 10, 2011 8:35 PM

I wasn't sure how to get past level 5. I don't even know how to get up the hills with the body! o-o Help? (I tried destroying the corpse and bringing it's pieces to the end, but that didn't work out well. LOL)

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MisunderstoodGirl XD April 11, 2011 7:48 PM

I got past level 5 by throwing the body itself, LOL. Now I don't understand what to do for Level 6: Beyond Hope. :( Help?

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nocturnal YL April 24, 2011 6:23 PM

Fail. No arrow key input (to accomodate different keyboard layouts), and it told me that "O to restart"... it's "0", arrrgh.

This game is funny in its own way, and I actually laughed at the opening of the game. But the control still kind of drove me off.

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