“Greens Survive only when Reds Die” is kind of a grim and confusing title, as the game itself isn’t much different. In this flash platformer, you must send green units on their merry way while simultaneously killing off their red comrades. It’s a bit of puzzle, it’s a bit of platformer — it’s a puzzle platformer. And it’s a decent one.
Platformers have always been at home on the flash medium. They’re usually fairly simple (jump, maybe use a weapon or two, get to where you’re going, etc.) and are easy to program. The simplicity of the genre allows developers to focus more on the actual platforming details of the stages players will be encountering, and on the graphical presentation (usually spritework).
Greens Survive only when Reds Die follows the above. The game uses only the arrow keys or WASD (there is no attacking) for movement and the visuals are about as glum as you would expect from a game about killing off some to save others. Everything on the playing field is a silhouette, while the backgrounds are bright scenery. It’s not graphically stunning, but it does a very good job of setting the overall tone and letting you know that you’re not here for a fun romp.
Though the controls are standard, the game brings a new twist in that you control both red and green characters at the same time. Your goal is to get the greens through the doorway at the end of every stage, but the door won’t open unless the reds are all dead. This in itself sounds “Ehhh”, but it’s unique in that you control them at the same time. Sometimes they’re separated by a wall, sometimes they’re crammed pretty close together — either way, you need to figure out how to kill the reds while guiding the greens to safety.
There are a lot of situations where you can accidentally make reds and greens touch or accidentally kill a green instead of a red, which is what makes Greens Survive only when Reds Die a “puzzle platformer” instead of just a platformer. In some levels it’s all too easy to accidentally kill your greens to have them ram themselves into one of the reds. It’s imperative that you pay attention to their locations and ways you can separate the colors. It adds a strategy element that I personally like a lot because it’s not complicated in the least, but does require you to really think about what you need to do.
My only real problem is that my experience with the game was too short. There are only 28 stages and I really wanted more. I got frustrated with some parts, but overall my time with the Greens Survive only when the Reds Die was positive. It’s not the most intricate or best looking flash platformer out there, but it is good at the little bit that it does do. I just wish it lasted longer.