Try to Survive the Hilarious Dumb Ways to Die

I’ve watched the Dumb Ways to Die music video, hilarious and disturbing all at once, maybe a million times, so I was elated when I saw there was a companion game for iOS. Preserving all of the dark humor of the original video, Dumb Ways to Die gives you the power to save all of the characters. Or if you’re of a darker sensibility, see what happens when luck isn’t on their side.

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Game of Minigames

Dumb Ways to Die is a collection of minigames, and you play them in quick succession to rack up a high score. All of the minigames come from the Dumb Ways to Die music video, produced by Metro Trains Melbourne. You’ll eventually have the opportunity to unlock the video, but it’s been out for a while anyway, so that’s not a huge reward. What you want to do is complete the minigames to add to your collection of unlocked characters and watch them dance to the tinny Dumb Way to Die background music; that’s where all the fun is.

Save this guy who set his hair on fire from dying.

Save this guy who set his hair on fire from dying.

Each minigame only lasts for a few seconds, so you’ll need to act quickly to win. The minigame won’t really be explained to you, or if it is, you’ll likely only get a single line of instruction. In one game, for instance, you have to save oblivious triplets by moving them out of the path of an oncoming train. Should you tilt them in the direction you want them to move, tap them and the spot you want to them to hit, or drag them to get them to scoot forward? It’s not explicit, and some of these little games will take a bit of trial and error before you figure out exactly what it is you’re supposed to do.

Earn point for completing each minigame and just because you deserve it!

Earn point for completing each minigame and just because you deserve it!

That’s okay, though, because you have three chances each time you play, so even if you didn’t manage to save all three guys, you’ve still got two more tries to get it right. Dumb Ways to Die has sort of a low threshold for success, anyway; you’re racking up points to unlock bizarre and macabre characters on the title screen, and it just doesn’t take that many points to get those guys. This game isn’t really about the achievements, it’s about the hilarious animations within the games, and letting the characters die can be just as entertaining as saving them.

Collect lots of guys to hang out at the train station.

Collect lots of guys to hang out at the train station.

Sure, this game was put out by a public transportation organization in Australia and is based off of a song that’s more or less a public service announcement, but you shouldn’t get the wrong idea here. Dumb Ways to Die is more entertainment than anything else. There’s certainly a message in there if you want to look for it, and you can take a train safety pledge with a single tap, but if you just want to play the game without any preachy safety lessons, that’s an option. Of course, knowing that you shouldn’t chase helium balloons on train tracks is just good intel, so it’s not a bad idea to pay attention to the subtle messages of the minigames. Other words of wisdom from Dumb Ways to Die: Don’t keep a rattlesnake as a pet or open the door for psychos. Good to know!

More Ways to Die

I’m going to tell you, some of these minigames are just hard! There are a couple I never completed correctly, no matter how much I tried. Some of the others can only be won if you have plenty of time, but since the clock speeds up as you move on, those minigames become much more difficult or even impossible. I’m okay with that, because there’s not really a point to racking up 30,000 points in Dumb Ways to Die, it’s just not that kind of game, and I like seeing the deaths, too. I just wish I could figure out how to get the fork out of the toaster without electrocuting that one guy; maybe the developer made that one unwinnable because putting a real fork in a real toaster is always going to be an unwinnable scenario. (Don’t do it! You can’t win!)

She's oblivious to the danger.

She’s oblivious to the danger.

If you’ve seen the original Dumb Ways to Die video, you may be looking for your favorite way to die in the game, and I hope you find it, I really do, but chances are that it hasn’t been included. Most of the deaths didn’t seem to make it into the game. There are a couple of problems with that. There were a lot of funny deaths in the video I’d like to prevent and/or participate with in the game. Nothing doing, though, because they’re just not there. With so few deaths in Dumb Ways to Die, the minigames can get pretty redundant pretty quickly. You’ll be playing the same games over and over again. There’s something to be said for that, because you’ll get better and faster at each minigame, but I’d like to see some more variety.

Final Thoughts

Despite the relatively few deaths you’ll get to see in Dumb Ways to Die, it’s still an incredibly entertaining game. The animations are adorable, and the black humor hits just the right note. It’s a lot of fun to figure out how to save (or kill) each character, and while the train safety message is still present, Dumb Ways to Die isn’t preachy. It’s an absolutely charming game and really a must play for anyone who likes their jokes just a bit sinister.


Learn some very silly ways to die and find out how to be safe around trains.