Most games that present you with a small party of playable heroes with unique skills challenge you to reach the goal while trying to keep everyone alive. This is not the case in Total Party Kill, where sacrifices must be made and only one hero — either your sword-wielding Knight, ice spell-casting Wizard, or ace archer Ranger — needs to successfully reach the exit of each deadly dungeon to progress to the next level.

Total Party Kill was released by Finnish indie game developer Adventure Islands, the same folks behind the cute and fun platformer Heart Star, which shares some familiar platforming mechanics except in that game you do need both characters to make it to the end of each level. Not so with Total Party Kill, where you'll need to figure out which characters must be sacrificed to flip switches out of reach. Or you can use the Wizard to turn one hero into a movable block of ice, or the Ranger to pin a hero to the wall as a makeshift platform.

As long as one hero survives, you win the level!

The result is a creative collection of twisted puzzles where each hero needs to be killed off in the most useful way possible. The Ranger is able to use his trusty bow and arrow to pin another hero to a wall, the Wizard can transform a living or dead hero into movable ice blocks, and the Knight whacks bodies and blocks around with his sword. Each level challenges you to combine your heroes' skills to use each other to get to the finish, and figuring out which one or two heroes must make the ultimate sacrifice for the team is morbid fun.

There's lots of trial-and-error gameplay to enjoy as you figure out how to fling your hero's corpse across the screen in a way that he can be useable for another hero to jump on his frozen bones, but all the more enjoyable when you figure it out and move onto the next dungeon. Each of the 60 levels seems daunting at the outset, but you just need to test out different strategies until something clicks.

Total Party Kill is a free-to-play game with ads, which means the flow of the game is occasionally broken up by a 30-second pop-in ads. This can get annoying so you can permanently disable ads with a one-time in-app purchase. Check it out for free and if you really fall in love with it you can throw the developers a few bucks to enjoy the game ad-free.

Game of the week

Total Party Kill

Total Party Kill is a must-play game for any fans of retro platformers or quick puzzle games. There's 60 deadly dungeons to escape from with each offering a uniquely rewarding solution that requires your heroes to trade off making the ultimate sacrifice.