The Fenix Corporation security team is dead, a fire has broken out, and there are people trapped on the top floor. You are safe, locked in the security vault, but it is up to you to direct the survivors as they make their way to the ground floor. Unfortunately, the TEMPEST computer planning the escape routes doesn't think everyone can make it out alive. There are tough choices ahead, and you'll be the one to decide. No-One Has to Die is a turn-based puzzle HTML5 visual novel by Stuart Madafiglio where sacrifice is the only way to get closer to solving the full mystery at hand.
In each level, you'll be presented with a grid floor plan of people, locations, and switches that can be interacted with, and fire that spreads every turn. Click the arrows to move people, and the arrow in the upper left to advance a turn. When a person is next to a switch, they can turn it on or off. When the switch is on, water will come from the faucet icon, spreading each turn it is on, preventing the spread of fire. People standing on squares filled with water or fire will die. There are doors that, when locked, will prevent the spread of fire or water. However, one door can be remotely locked on each level. The level is completed once the progress of both fire and water is halted. Most levels will require the sacrifice of one or more people to continue. Depending on your choices, new aspects of the plot will be revealed in each play through, though the menu screen will allow you to restart from different branches of the story.
With its emphasis on characterization, moral dilemma, and branching paths presenting parts of a larger, complex story, no-one has to die appears to have gotten direct inspiration from 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors and Virtue's Last Reward. Certainly, the raw number of plot twists herein could give those games a run for their money, and fans of cerebral jigsaw-puzzle stories will definitely be driven to replay the game until every scrap of information is uncovered. Admittedly, the fire/water puzzles feel perfunctory in comparison to the plot, making one wonder if the game would have been better served as a pure visual-novel. Still, No-One Has to Die is a yarn surely satisfying enough to make even the most meticulous players overlook the blatant inaccuracy contained in its title.