There are not many games worthy of your attention which can say they started life as an Australia public service announcement campaign promoting railway safety, but this is the case for Dumb Ways to Die, an enjoyable and addictive game that is equal parts cute and macabre.

Similar to Nintendo’s Wario Ware series, Dumb Ways to Die features a number of colourful characters taking part in increasingly manic micro games. Each mini game begins with a simple instruction such as “Connect” or “Clean up” and then gives the player a few seconds to work out what needs to be done and perform the necessary action, with less time each round. The activities range from connecting colored wires to swatting wasps, and if you’re wondering where the game gets its peculiar title, you’ll soon find out – failing to complete each game results in the adorable character dying in an excruciating way.


You’re given three lives and are awarded a (seemingly random) number of points for successfully completing each challenge, and reaching certain achievements will unlock the characters featured in each mini game, allowing them to decorate the train station platform that makes up the game’s fun menu screen. The game also allows you to tweet a picture each time you get a game over but this is the extent of its social capabilities.

Dumb Ways is a cool game and its mind blowing art work is minimalist and beautiful, it’s hard to put the game down as the thrill of successfully completing a mini game you failed last time is a great feeling. Unfortunately, because of the violent (if cutely rendered) death in the game it wouldn’t be suitable for young children but apart from this, Dumb Ways to Die cannot be recommended enough.