Rick’s been playing games since before he could walk. I went from an NES to a PS3 with nothing in between. We love to game together, but finding games we can both enjoy can be tough. Indie Game Date is our quest to find great indie games that both of us will love.
Last Video Game Date we ended up taking a quick look at puzzle-platformer Gateways after the resounding disappointment that was City Tuesday. While Rick really liked Gateways, he admitted there was something missing, which lead to me suggesting Rick try Indie Gamer Chick’s top game: Escape Goat, quite possibly the epitome of twitch-puzzle-platforming perfection.
Being that I included the word “twitch” in my description of the game mechanics, I let Rick hold the controller for this one, but let is pretty generous on my part because I don’t know if I’d be able to wrench the controller from his grasp, cold and dead or not. When I could I’d jump up and point on the screen when I found a switch or pattern Rick might have missed, but the game’s ultra-tight controls would have been sadly wasted on a spazz-monster like me.
The concept is deceptively simple. You are a goat trapped in a maze and you have to collect keys to escape a series of rooms. However, like most games of this type, it is the design and resolution of the puzzles that make the game truly great. Unlike Gateways, none of the puzzles require Mensa certification in order to complete, but you do feel an overwhelming satisfaction when you do manage to solve one. New mechanics and obstacle types are introduced gradually, meaning that your skills evolve along with the game.
I also really like the fact that you play as a purple goat, instead of a human or something else we’ve seen in a million other games. The graphics are nostalgically lo-fi, but do nothing to take away from the expertly refined mechanics and controls. It truly feels like something Rick would have played on his PC back in the 80’s, but with better controls.
An absolute steal at 80 MSP, Escape Goat is possibly the best XBLIG value available to date.
Not convinced? Why not give this browser based Beta a try?