The first I Expect You to Die was a pretty great escape room/spy mashup, so it’s really great to see Schell Games return to the well and provide another opportunity to save the world from impending doom. Despite being locked down in one position, the game does an incredible job of making a lot from a little, with brilliantly intricate puzzles that require you to comb through every corner of your environment. The puzzles provide just the right amount of difficulty, never being so obtuse as to be completely impenetrable, but thought-provoking enough that you can’t sleepwalk through the experience.
Each of the settings for the game’s six puzzles are great fun, too, offering flexibility for drama, gags, and everything in between. The standout is a fantastic level that sees you trying to escape from a plane before its impending demise. All of the levels are great, though , offering creative solutions – most of which have multiple avenues of completion – that take advantage of the settings they’re staged in. It’s this creative use of environments that helps keep things fresh and fun, as mechanically the game doesn’t really do much to differentiate itself from its predecessor. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and all that.
For all the similarities, I Expect You To Die 2: The Spy and the Liar exceeds its predecessor in terms of tone. The first title was a cheeky game with a biting wit to match its great puzzles, but this sequel really outdoes itself, crafting even more ludicrously operatic scenarios all the while seamlessly integrating the humor into the gameplay experience. If you don’t have the patience or interest to sit through overlong monologues or sequences with a slow burn, you can just rush past them and the game adapts with you, but not before letting out a few extra jokes for good measure.