I haven’t encountered any “surprise deaths”, although there have been a few instances where you have to react quickly. It’s hardly comparable to Rick Dangerous – it’s not “game over” when it happens for a start.
SOTB3 has a lot of puzzles that are conceptually a bit like those in LIMBO (move this here, then the water comes in, then you float on it. Pull this lever to make this happen and drop this on the springboard etc etc). The difference is that SOTB3 basically just gives you one go at them and if you mess it up (which is very easy to do) you have to go back to the start of the level. LIMBO’s system of using “chapters” is much friendlier.
EDIT: This YouTube vid has a playthrough of SOTB3. I recommend jumping to 4m 43s to see some of the type of puzzles I mean. Remember, get any of it wrong (which you inevitably would first few times) and you have to start the level again: