Escape Goat Review

Escape Goat Review

Puzzle-Platforming Brilliance.

Escape Goat Review
Release Date
June 14, 2012

Escape Goat is absolutely brilliant.

I remember when I first came across this game on Greenlight so many moons ago, I thought that the idea of a goat platforming was funny because goats are nature’s most accomplished platformers. I remember looking at the screenshots and the trailers and coming away not particularly impressed with what I saw. I liked the idea, but I was turned off by the graphical style of the game. As someone with more games to play than time in a day, I put it on the backburner. For some reason, I didn’t think that Escape Goat would interest me.

Wow, what a mistake that was.

My good friend Stephen Bailey saw Escape Goat and immediately got excited. He was able to do what I couldn’t and see past its rough, pixelated edges. He wrote up a preview of the game, and a couple weeks later we were on the line with the game’s developer Ian Stocker doing a Let’s Play. From those early days to the time of this review, I have played Escape Goat from start to finish no less than 3 times, one of which the majority was done live on Twitch. To say that my initial impressions of the game were wrong would be an understatement. Don’t make the same mistake I did.

Playing a goat with magical powers, you find yourself imprisoned in the Prison of Agnus for witchcraft. Your led on a quest to free elder sheep from imprisonment as well, so that you may all prosper outside the prison walls. While saving sheep as a goat sounds cool, that is definitely not what makes Escape Goat stand out. What makes it one of the must-play games of the year is its absolutely genius puzzle design.

Escape Goat Review - Valley
Ain’t no platform high, ain’t no valley low, ain’t no prison strong enough babyyy

Escape Goat features the most intricately complex platforming puzzles I have ever encountered in a game. The puzzle design is simply on another level, with puzzles that will baffle you beyond belief only to make perfect sense minutes later. I have never felt so good solving puzzles as I have in Escape Goat. You will spawn into levels and literally have no idea how to move forward, but the exceptional design always helps you find a way. Moreover, there isn’t one set strategy to completing any of the puzzles in the game. Each puzzle can be solved in many different ways, some of which even the developer has never seen before. You will solve puzzles in ways I would never had thought of in a million years, and you could watch me play and be perplexed as to how my seemingly remedial strategies work so perfectly. This is only possible with incredibly thoughtful puzzle design, and Escape Goat does this magnificently.

Escape Goat Review - Magic Mouse
If you need me call me, no matter where you are, no matter how far

There are ten different stages (with 6 levels in each) that introduce new mechanics to understand and master. Each stage has its own color palette and general theme, which keeps the game lively and fresh. For instance, when you head into the ‘Electric Lab’ you will have to deal with shocking orbs and electric currents, whereas the Frozen Cavern is filled with ice. Mind blowing? No. Distinct and relatively unique? Yes.

Other elements of Escape Goat are also top notch. The soundtrack hit a vibe with me, which is always a nice touch to any game. The main storyline will keep you going for 3-4 hours if you take your time and think through the puzzles. You Mensa folk might be able to finish it quicker, but rest assured that the bonus levels (entitled All Intensive Purposes) will kick your ass and keep you busy for a little while longer. Oh, and there’s a level editor! You can create your own levels with all the traps, triggers, and switches found in the game. Its surprisingly intuitive too, and I’m sure user-made stages will start hitting the internet as soon as more people get their hands on the game.

Escape Goat Review - Magic Hat
Just pass my hat, we’ll swap in a hurry, you don’t have to worry


Escape Goat Review
Review Summary
Escape Goat is an absolutely fantastic game. Its unique perspective on platforming along with its genius-level puzzle design make it a game that everyone should play. I don't care if you enjoy puzzle platformers or not, play this game and forever be changed. Escape Goat is teeming with brilliance.
The Good
Absolutely brilliant puzzle design.
Challenging, yet always rewarding.
Level Editor is surprisingly engaging.
The Bad
8-Bit graphics might irk some.

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