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Death and Taxes In the Running for Top Indie of 2020

In a year full of interesting indie titles, let’s take a step back in time to February of 2020. People went outside and hung out together. Unless you were me, in which case you were inside a dorm room playing the newest game by Placeholder Gameworks, Death and Taxes. Nearly 9 months later, the game’s been nominated for IndieDB’s Indie of the Year award for 2020. So with updates aplenty and the contest ongoing, let’s see what it’s got.

Death and Taxes
Courtesy of Placeholder Gameworks

Death and Taxes is a singleplayer realistic sim released by Placeholder Gameworks on February 20th, 2020, in which you play as one of numerous Grim Reapers at the beck and call of Fate in the wonderful world of office bureaucracy! You decide who lives or dies as files come in and out, meeting quotas before drinking it away at the bar in the evenings and trying to ignore your chatty conscience. With simple graphics and snarky humor and just the right dash of philosophy and humor that you might find in The Good Place, I thoroughly enjoyed this game, and it’s received a couple quality of life updates and soundtracks since its initial release. The most recent update as of writing this was the Halloween Update, which features the aforementioned bar, as well as some cosmetic items and a host of new NPCs with which to chat and world-build the afterlife.

Placeholder art of Cerri, the barkeep. Courtesy of Placeholder Gameworks
Final art of Cerri, the barkeep. Courtesy of Placeholder Gameworks

In terms of accomplishments, it’s got a couple under its belt, especially for being a 2020 game. In addition to being the winner of the 2020 Spelkollektivet Scholarship, Death and Taxes has become one of the Top 100 Indie games of 2020 according to IndieDB’s annual competition for indie titles. With a recent spike in positive reviews on Steam and a very excited Dev Log update, things are looking positive for this morbid game, so make sure you vote for your favorite while you can here. Voting ends on December 20th at midnight, so you better get a move on!

Courtesy of Placeholder Gameworks

If you’d like to know more about Death and Taxes, their steam page holds a rather active Discord community, and their website can be found at This is not a game for everyone, but if you enjoy ethical morality debates, or just like killing people with the swipe of a pen, consider joining the ranks of Grim in Death and Taxes.

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