Our hero, ladies and gentlemen!Karoshi
is a series of puzzle-platformer games by Jesse Venbrux.
The gameplay is simple: Find clever ways to kill yourself. Over the course of the game, you'll have been crushed by a giant swinging hammer, launched a potted plant like a rocket, and flung yourself into a giant, severed version of your head. To do so, you'll not only have to think outside the box, but set the box on fire and jump into the flames.
Yes, it's that kind of game.
As of early 2011, there are also five sequels: Karoshi 2.0
, a sort of Expansion Pack
with additional level editor, improved graphics, and many more absurd situations; Karoshi Factory
, which focuses more of puzzle elements than unorthodox solutions, except the levels now require you to kill several characters in each stage; Karoshi: Suicide Salaryman
, a sequel in the form of a flash game; Super Karoshi
, another flash game where the main character gains the ability to turn into SUPER KAROSHI, who can't die but has to kill other businessmen. And then die. Finally, Mr. Karoshi
for iPhone, iPad, Android and PSP which goes back to a more basic, classic gameplay but also introduces two additional characters, a chief and a Ms. Karoshi that can also be controlled in some levels.
The full series is available here
This game provides examples of:
- Bilingual Bonus: See Meaningful Name.
- The Cameo: The Mubblies from Frozzd, another game from the same author, show up in one level of Karoshi 2.0. Another level references a never-completed project.
- Continuity Nod: Super Karoshi has the rocket plant and swinging hammer from the first game, and choosing to go to hell at the end of Karoshi 2.0 has you playing the original first level.. over, and over, and over...
- Mr. Karoshi uses a remixed version of Factory's theme.
- Darker and Edgier: Karoshi Factory.
- Defeat Means Playable: Happens bizarrely in the very end of the first game.
- Determinator: The games themselves. Particulary Karoshi 2.0.
- Driven to Suicide: Pretty much the whole plot of the game.
- Drop The Cow: Though not for the usual reason.
- Embedded Precursor: Karoshi 2.0 features Karoshi 1 Speed Run mode, which lets you play all the levels of the original, except with a seven-minute timer.
- The Flash games do the same: Super Karoshi lets you play Suicide Salaryman. If you haven't already, you need to do it in order to finish the last level.
- Empathic Environment / The Power of Love: In Mr. Karoshi, if you touch Ms. Karoshi, the character becomes happy and the surroundings turn pink. If she is killed, however, depression turns the current screen very dark. It's not only cosmetic, since it causes hazards to appear - flowers are turned into spikes, for example.
- Everything Trying to Kill You: Inverted. Just about everything's trying to keep you alive (some of the traps you see are fakes, and one of the Spikes of Doom sprouts legs and runs away), and you have to foil them all anyway.
- Final Boss: The giant head of the main character.
- Gaiden Game: Karoshi Factory.
- Genre Shift: Karoshi 2.0 has SUPER KAROSHI KART RACING 2000 EXTREME AWESOME.
- Hopeless Boss Fight: Of course the objective of the boss "fights" is to get killed.
- Intentional Engrish for Funny: THANKS FOR PLAY and LET'S WORKING TOGETHER
- Interface Screw: Type A. Often the games does something to your controls and sometimes to your vision field.
- Ludicrous Gibs: You explode whenever you touch anything deadly.
- Except when getting electrocuted. In which case the result is X-Ray Sparks.
- Which is followed by Ludicrous Gibs, except in Mr. Karoshi where the result is a little pile of ashes.
- In Mr Karoshi, if another character catches fire, he/she will explode after a few seconds and his/her pieces can set others on fire.
- Meaningful Name: Karoshi, which means "death from overwork" in Japanese.
- Multiple Endings: Sort of, in Karoshi 2.0 you end up in heaven and you have to choose between a heart or spikes, the heart gets you a blank screen that just says the end, the spikes on the other hand make you repeat the first level of the first game over & over & over &...
- No Fourth Wall: Some of the puzzle solutions are a bit... unorthodox. 2.0 is particularly creative about this.
- Some examples include pressing keys when prompted, exactly what you need to do being veiled as a warning that bad things will happen if you do it, resetting the level only to find something changed, jumping off the main menu screen, and playing an actual CD on your computer to get an ingame stereo to push a safe onto you.
- And in a puzzle in Super Karoshi you have to click a link to go to the download page for the other Karoshi games. The level itself even notes that this is a shameless plug.
- Oxygenated Underwater Bubbles: They pop up in an underwater level in Karoshi 2.0; of course, you're trying to avoid them so you can drown.
- Pressure Plate
- Red Herring: Many levels have these.
- Reverse Psychology: Used in some levels.
- Rule of Three: "Don't touch the spikes" *you walk into the spikes* "No" *Reset Button*
- Running Gag: See Intentional Engrish for Funny.
- And Super Karoshi has several false endings.
- And the "K" key. "There is a key to this level" indeed.
- Thanks For Play
- Schmuck Bait: "You will quit if you press "q".
- Subverted in the following level.
- Sequential Boss: Your head. The games joke about this, constantly telling you that it really is the final boss this time, no lie!
- Soft Reset: Some of Karoshi 2.0's puzzles require you to go back to the main menu.
- Spikes of Doom: Unlike most of the other games, spikes are your friends in this game. Most of the time anyway. Game knows this and does subversions of Spikes of Doom trope.
- Springs Springs Everywhere: Particularly in Super Karoshi.
- The Stinger: Karoshi 2.0 has a few levels after the credits.
- Trope 2000: SUPER KAROSHI KART RACING 2000 EXTREME AWESOME.
- Unwinnable: One level in Karoshi 2.0 requires you to play a CD in your computer. Thankfully, if your machine doesn't have an CD drive, there's an alternate version of the game you can use.
- Violation of Common Sense: You want to die instead of to live like in other games. Inverted in Karoshi 2.0. To get the good ending, you must choose the heart in the last scene instead of spike, or else you will get Nonstandard Game Over Kobayashi Mario of the stage 0 in black and white which you can never win.
- Waiting Puzzle: Level 23 in the first game has you in a hole and a clock on the wall, ticking...
- Wrap Around: The solution to some of the levels in the games.