Cute Things Dying Violently is a great puzzle game that was released as part of this year's Indie Summer Uprising.
The main goal in each of the 60 levels is to guide the "Cute Things" to the exit elevator doors while avoiding the many death traps in their way. The little critters move in one direction along any surface they are standing on until they hit an obstacle which causes them to turn around and carry on walking the opposite way. You guide the creatures by grabbing them with your cursor and then flinging them around the level. One thumbstick is used to set the direction and the other the power of your throw. Should you miss your shot and accidentally hit one of the many dangerous obstacles, the creature will die. Violently. Screaming or cursing. And leaving a trail of blood behind. Fortunately the deaths are generally amusing, and the game is kind enough to let you pass a level without forcing you to get all of the creatures to safety.
The game is constantly introducing new elements to the gameplay. Things like springs, fire, electricity, switches and more keep the game fresh and interesting. Plus, every ten levels you get a boss to defeat, with each one requiring a new approach. There are also 6 special challenges that require meeting certain criteria to unlock, and a level editor.
The visuals are clear and colorful, the animations fluid, and the music and sound effects fit the game nicely. The creatures are always chattering away in high pitched voices which adds some good humor to the proceedings (specially when they die), and you can adjust the crudeness of their language in the options menu.
Unfortunately there are a couple of problems that hold the game back from achieving excellence. The first being that when you hover the cursor over a critter and grab it, if you've not got it right in the center of the crosshairs the aiming arrow will be slightly off, relevant to the position of the creature. This can make aiming somewhat tricky at times and can result in your missing your shot, particularly in places where you need to be very accurate. Which brings us to the second problem. In the later levels of the game you are required to make some incredibly precise shots, which in itself wouldn't be a bad thing, except that you'll need to nail several of them in a row just to save one creature. This can be very frustrating and will probably prevent a lot of people from ever finishing the game.
Despite these problems, Cute Things Dying Violently is still a very polished release and I'd thoroughly recommend checking it out to pretty much everyone.