Someone has been murdered and you desperately wish to find the killer. Unfortunately, that's going to be a bit tricky considering the fact that the one who's dead is you. Created by Peltast Games as an improvement over the original, Why Am I Dead?: Rebirth is a unique mystery adventure that lets you possess the living in order to find out what has lead up to your demise. What's the point of that, you wonder? Well, just like any good mystery, people aren't just willing to spill the beans on their private lives -- especially when they've got something to hide. If you don't want the killer to get away, you'll just need to give them a little extra push to get on the right track.
So you're currently dead inside a hotel in the sticks. You want to find out who killed you and why but without an actual mouth, you're kind of useless at gathering information as an incorporeal being. The good thing is, there's a storm keeping everyone stuck inside the establishment and you have the nifty ability to possess people for a short while. With a little ingenuity, this makes it possible to convince even the most guilty of parties to reveal the skeletons they hide in their closet. Of course, they can also be mere unfortunate souls who got caught in between something or just happen to hear something they shouldn't have had. Either way, you'll get a new lead and will be on your way to solving the mystery.
The game isn't really too long, provided that you are able to piece things together easily. You'll have to each guest for their alibi on the night of the murder but, realistically, there will be those who will flat out deny any involvement in the gruesome act. To encourage you to body swap, the NPCs will be dropping hints and, occasionally, mention names of the people they associate with. Follow the trail and find out who's lying. Much of the story is revealed through dialogue with the right people.
Thanks to its easy peasy control scheme, you won't find it all that difficult to learn the game's mechanics even if you've never played a game in the genre. At the start of the game, you'll be provided with some useful info detailing the control scheme. You can opt to either use the A, S, W and D keys to move around or, if it's easier, use the arrow keys. Pressing C or the Spacebar lets you body swap with the nearest character and the P key pauses the game. Finally, E and X serves as your means of interacting with the pixel world around you as they allow you to open doors and talk to the hotel's guests. It's not really rocket science but the scheme does take a couple of minutes to remember.
Speaking of pixels, the game graphics aren't really all that flashy but they do have a retro-style appeal. The graphics are colored using a dominantly brown palette and the text is neatly boxed inside a black space. The original released of Why Am I Dead? Made use of white text over a black background isn't exactly our choice combo for most websites but considering the pixel-style font, we didn't really have any complaints. Why Am I Dead?: Rebirth takes this one step further by making use of a rounded, blue border for the box and using a darker brown for the background. It's now much kinder on the eyes, especially if you've been staring at a PC screen for a while.
Provided that your leads don't dry up for too long, Why Am I Dead?: Rebirth will take you around 30 minutes to an hour to finish. This makes it perfect as a stress buster for those times when you want to put your feet up. The story isn't really award-winning stuff but with the twists, it is an interesting one for horror escape and investigation fans. There is a lot of dialogue here though, so if you're not into wading though text box after text box, the game might not be for you. On the other hand, the dialogue is interesting as each of the characters have different personalities. You'll need to pay close attention to what their motivations are in order to persuade them to provide invaluable information or even sell a friend out.
Basically, Why Am I Dead?: Rebirth doesn't stray too far from the original but it does make it easier on the eyes. The colors are a bit brighter, there's new dialogue to read and new sprites to behold. There are even new endings as well as an extra character to possess. If you liked the original, you can play this for a more in-depth experience. If you haven't played it and are looking for a bite-sized mystery with a bit of a punch, we say go for it. After all, who doesn't want to find compelling evidence by rummaging through lingerie?