Death Trash is a Lovecraft Fan’s Dream Game
As a fan of pixel art, Death Trash naturally appealed to me. Developed by Berlin developer Crafting Legends, it’s a mix of post-apocalyptic robot mayhem and Lovecraftian horror. And while the game is currently in Early Access, I managed to play enough of it to give some of my opinions on the current state of the game.
A World Beyond Destruction
It all begins in a world not just on the brink of destruction, but one that has been utterly changed by it. Robot overlords oversee the development of fleshy humans, and keep them from the harmful world outside their facilities. At the start you can customize your character, allocating stats to develop your hero the way you wish. Then you have a good range of visual options you can tweak. I had to go with blue facial hair, giving my character a sort of nuclear Moses vibe.
Part the Sea, Nuclear Moses!
Once I had my bedraggled holy man ready, I started Death Trash proper. I woke in some robotic facility, and was told I had to leave by my robotic overseers. Apparently I was infected with something that worried them. This section was essentially the game’s tutorial, and it taught me what I needed to know to survive. Things like changing weapons from melee to ranged, as well as manipulating my inventory. It also taught me the ability to vomit, which actually serves a purpose. It powers certain machines, which is totally weird and wonderfully gross. Most important were evasion techniques, such as the roll and stealth mode. Both require a bit of stamina, which regenerates over time.
I appreciated the tutorial, but once I got out of the facility, the game stopped holding my hand quickly. And while it’s not necessarily a problem that the game is light on guidance, I personally wish the tutorial lasted a bit longer after I made my escape. On the plus side, it is fun to wander the world, and take in the lush and utterly stunning pixel art maps. The world of Death Trash is full of monsters and body horror, with giant roving lumps of meat, pools of blood and, of course, tentacles aplenty. My first real introduction to this was the jolly Fleshkraken. It looks like a Cthulhu made out of red meat, and it wanted a friend. Thus I went on my first quest, to find one or more friends for my new buddy.
Say Hello to the Fleshkraken
There’s a very “choose your adventure” energy to the game. You can wander wherever you want on the world map, and locations will ping as you gain proximity, allowing you to visit them. Even though quests are the goal, since fulfilling them provides level ups, you’re more than welcome to go where you want. Though fair warning, going too far afield often results in your gory death. You’ll face roving bands of lunatics, angry robots and tons of mutated abominations. Many which are human adjacent, but some are incomprehensible monstrosities. All that aside, my least favorite foes were still the gigantic, web spewing spiders.
In my time with the game, I suspected there’s a sort of moral calculus that affects how things progress. For example, you can allocate points to empathy and other such traits at the start. I wanted to test it out, and got a chance pretty early in my experience. I found a nude man praising the sun. Sure, I could have let him live in peace, but instead I mercilessly clubbed him to death, just to see what happened. Nothing immediate did, but I’m pretty sure I got some naughty points for my actions that made me less welcome with settlements I found later on.
While guns are a godsend in Death Trash, you are still limited to the bullets you have on hand. This made the game a bit more survival horror than I was expecting, and I quickly wasted all my bullets on mutant horrors. Which was a bit shortsighted, since later on I found angry survivalists with guns that made quick work of me.
Poor, Poor Fleshface…
I did find an android that had seen better days, named Fleshface. He was missing his legs, and asked my help. He suggested I remove his head, and carry him around. I did as he requested, and then had it suggested I might introduce my new robot buddy to the Fleshkraken. He was quite happy with his new friend, and summarily swallowed him whole. Which is a great encapsulation of the insane and disjointed humor I appreciated in the game.
A Gory New World
Overall, I enjoyed my time with Death Trash, though it’s clear to me there’s still work to do balancing things out. One thing I would strongly recommend is that they feature a more robust tutorial in future builds. I also felt the movement of your character was a bit slow, but that’s likely so you don’t feel too overpowered early on. By contrast, I felt woefully underpowered once I got out in the world, which is something that might be tweaked. But honestly those are small complaints. I still love the style of the game, and encourage fans of dystopian adventures to check it out.