Now *THIS* is the kind of game I had in mind when I started my search for the hidden gems in the Xbox Live Indie Games (XBLIG) catalogue. “Escape Goat” is an ingenious and absolutely fantastic puzzle platformer that should be being heralded from the hills, but has been criminally overlooked. This is my part in doing that.
Escape Goat (I see what you did there) comes from Magical Time Bean, which brought us the equally excellent “Soulcaster” and “Soulcaster II”. Unlike a lot of recent platformers, it’s not crazy ridiculously hard (I’m looking at you “Aban Hawkins & the 1000 SPIKES”, “PLATFORMANCE : Castle Pain”, and what feels like 100 other recent platformers). Like a lot of recent platfomers, level design is excellent and it abounds with innovation.
The most striking thing about this game is a feature that has you commanding a mouse. And I mean that you’re commanding it, not controlling it: you tell it what direction to go, but you don’t get to control it directly. It’s a neat feature, one I don’t recall seeing before. If you don’t find that sufficiently striking, you might find the hilariously bizarre story does it for you.
All the normal jumping, dashing, double jumping, and more are “present and correct”. Controls are impressively tight, and the level design complements your abilities perfectly. The learning curve eases you in better than a lot of the super hard platformers that we see these days too, but like them the restarts are quick and the lines are infinite (or, at least, I haven’t hit any limit yet).
One super cool feature is the ability to be able to try other levels without losing your progress in current ones (levels are available in batches of 6). Puzzles feature pressure sensitive switches, magical hats, fireball throwing reapers, smashing things with your goat horns, and more, so the game has lots to do. This is a ridiculously good buy for only 80 Microsoft Points. Get it now.
Here’s what the developer (MagicalTimeBean) has to say about the game:
“Imprisoned for the crime of witchcraft, you must use your skill and intellect to overcome the Prison of Agnus. Fear not, Brave Goat, for you have a friend on this journey…”