REZ PLZ is a co-op puzzle-platformer where two young apprentice wizards, Arcan and Zeph, must work together to fight evil forces. The catch: They’re both terrible at magic. The only spell the clumsy pair have at the beginning of the game is from a Resurrection Scroll, which empowers them to resurrect each other. With this unusual ability to cheat death, the brothers must strategically kill and resurrect one another to solve puzzles and defeat their foes. REZ PLZ honors the tradition of working through video games with siblings and friends, and its creation was directly inspired by the developers’ childhood experiences.
Josh and Nate Pearce are Portland-based developer brothers and the founders of Long Neck Games. The Pearce brothers grew up playing Super Mario Bros., passing the controller back and forth every time one of them died. Their love for cooperating through games was so strong, they eventually decided to build their own co-op game together, resulting in REZ PLZ. As a tribute to the game that captivated them at such a young age, the pair snuck a Mario easter egg into the REZ PLZ demo.
The creation of REZ PLZ has become a sort of real-life co-op in itself, especially since this is the first game Josh and Nate have ever developed. For them, every step of the process is new and exciting, but they’ve handled all of the nuances and challenges of game development with their characteristic humor and good spirits. These same qualities have helped shape the game into a delightful experience.
In many ways, REZ PLZ is a reflection of the brothers themselves. As a relaxed, funny pair, they’ve developed a game that is equally challenging and entertaining. Much of REZ PLZ’s charm and humor stems from the cartoon art style and the absurdity surrounding the game’s lighthearted approach to such a serious topic—death. In some cases, a brother must die in order to progress through the level.
A perfect example: In one section, the brothers must navigate over a pit of spikes to reach the next platform. To pass through, one brother must fall onto the spikes to turn his body into a platform for the other brother to leap across. Once safely on the other side of the pit, the living brother can use the Resurrection Scroll to bring his brother back to life.
Magic doesn’t always work this smoothly, however. Arcan and Zeph learn new spells throughout the course of the game, but they remain the same bumbling wizards they’ve always been. One spell can have disastrous consequences. If you charge it for too long, the character’s head will explode. Such surprising deaths are balanced by the Resurrection Scroll so that the brother can come back to play again.
However, they can only come back as long as they have enough gems. Gems are strewn throughout the levels, and each player can hold up to three gems. Using the Resurrection Scroll uses one gem, so players must hoard as many gems as possible to continue benefiting from the scroll’s magical qualities. This gem factor also pushes players to be as strategic as possible with killing off brothers. If a death isn’t beneficial to their progress within the game, they will have wasted a gem.
You can join Arcan and Zeph’s adventures on Steam, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One in early 2020. Add it to your Steam Wishlist today and become one of the first to play REZ PLZ all the way through.