Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap ($10 or less) game.
Agency in one’s own demise is a loaded topic. Does a person have the right to choose the manner and time of their own death? Is it ethical to keep someone alive on machines if they have no realistic possibility of recovery? Does a person’s chance of survival improve if they’re a fighter? Somewhere on the Kevorkian-Schiavo axis spins The Brink, a deceptively cute meditation on death and dying.
You play the one entity whose opinion on the subject brooks no debate, a little grim reaper trying to avoid sticky little hearts, disembodied heads, and guys in business suits trying like mad to stop him from doing whatever grim business he has set about doing. The clock is also an enemy (as it is for us all), and destroying far-flung nodes extends your playing time. The settings switch between green fields, clouds, and a sterile hospital setting. None of it makes a ton of sense, at least until you get to the end of the game, where you must fight a six-armed geriatric intent on making sure you’ve reaped your last geezer. This multi-limbed senior citizen is fighting like mad, against you, to prolong his fading life. He rages against the dying of the light, but, in the end, he only has enough fight to last through three levels, and we all know how this thing is going to end. Adios, abuelo.