Now this game looks like my cup of tea, but since my friend Leroy is the Steam PC expert, I had him review this one, too. I just might have to make a trip to his house sometime to play it (or I could download it myself). You know you want to read a review about a game starring a goat, right? Yeah, you do!
Escape Goat is a single screen puzzle platforming game reminiscent of many early 80’s games popular on PCs of the time (such as the Commodore 64 and Apple II), from before Super Mario Bros. came out and changed the genre forever. Each level is a single screen and combines both dexterity and puzzle solving elements.
The game comes from developer MagicalTimeBean and can be purchased from the Steam marketplace or directly from the developer at http://www.magicaltimebean.com/escape-goat/. Please show your support for independent developers by buying direct (you still will get a key to register the game to Steam). The game is also available on Xbox 360 via the Xbox LIVE Indie Game Marketplace.
You play as a purple goat exiled into a prison labyrinth for the crime (or accusation of) witchcraft. A couple of levels in, you find a red mouse companion. You will need to use the abilities of both characters to solve puzzles in order to rescue friendly sheep and find a way to escape the prison. Goat can jump, double jump and dash. Mouse can squeeze into small tunnels and crawl on walls and ceilings. A magic hat found in certain levels allows the goat and mouse to magically swap places. All of these abilities are used in several clever ways throughout the game and there are many individual levels that feel extremely unique.
There are about fifty levels in all and the entire journey won’t take up too much of your time, a few hours at most. There are a few achievements to attempt for some extra challenge, including a Speed Run achievement. And after you’ve completed that, there is a set of ultra-challenging user created levels included. On top of that, there is a level editor built into the game so that you can make your own levels or download new levels from the Internet. All in all, it’s a great little package for the asking price.
Controls are tight and responsive, the graphics are fantastic (using a pixel art style) and the soundtrack is great. Overall I found this one of the better indie games I’ve played this year. Knocking my personal nostalgia for the Commodore 64 influence aside for a moment, Escape Goat manages to bring some new ideas into the genre (and it’s not like there are a lot of new games of this style coming out) and what it does, it does EXTREMELY well.
This is a relatively cute game with no real violence (only a handful of levels contain adversaries). There is not a lot of text in the game, although some of it alludes to darker themes. The puzzles and platforming may be challenging for younger kids used to playing licensed character games, but I feel the game would offer some great opportunity to build problem solving skills with its intuitive puzzles. –Leroy Capasso