“I love everything about this game except its gameplay.”
An XboxHornet review by Liam Jugler.
Escape Goat doesn’t exactly sound like much. Actually strike that, it sounds like crap. You play a purple goat who must escape a trap laden dungeon and rescue a bunch of sheep along the way. To aid you on your quest for freedom you have a magical rat with a hat. Good lord just read that. Thankfully the game isn’t a pile of monkey-cheese style random naffness, instead, it’s a fairly straight forward, lovingly crafted puzzle game with a pretty solid graphical design that reminds me of old NES or Sega games. In fact I’d say the whole game is inspired by that era’s strange fascination with shoving blocks around.
This actually brings me to the problem with the game. Under its very very nice presentation, once you get past the lovely music and aesthetics, the puzzles and the gameplay themselves are, frankly, uninspired. I hate to say this about such a wonderful presented package but the puzzles are all just pushing blocks and pressing buttons, a style of puzzle solving I thought went out of style a long time ago. Puzzle games are a hard genre to do originality in, I get that, but while playing I had the feeling I’d been through this a thousand times before. Push the button move a block slide that switch this and so on.
It’s such a shame because, honestly, I love everything about this game except its gameplay. The music is wonderful and dreamy, invoking memories of Prince of Persia, I loved some of the core ideas of the stages (the Rube Goldberg-ian stages with exploding barrels and chain reactions especially), the artwork and most of all the fact that it ships with a level editor makes me incredibly happy. It’s just that in the end, no matter how pretty it is, I’m sick to the back teeth of crates and boxes and blocks and buttons. The game scores some serious, heavy points for dressing the boring gameplay in nice clothes, but in the end, it’s a video game. Gameplay is the whole point. If the MagicalTimeBean could take the love this game has in it and put it into an idea that hasn’t been done an infinite number of times, I think we’d see something really special.
Finally, I was incredible disappointed in the complete and utter lack of Goat based puns. No “Giving up the Goat?” on the quit screen, nothing. That’s one point off the highly meaningless /10 scale make no mistake.
Game Score: 6/10.
Download a free demo of the game here.