With all the goat-related games coming out, it might be easy to miss Escape Goat 2, but the sequel to the cult classic puzzle-platformer is not to be missed. Why? Because it just might be one of the smartest games starring a goat that you’ll actually play for quite a while.
Escape Goat 2 is the follow-up to the original Escape Goat, and promises better visuals, bigger stages, and more fiendish puzzles. It’s pretty safe to say that the ante has certainly been upped this time around, with Escape Goat 2 feeling much more like a complete and polished game.
Players take command of a small goat as he tries to escape from a massive dungeon-like castle. Along the way, he’ll meet protective maiden sheep who grant him access to more areas of the Stronghold of Toragos, a shape-shifting maze of rooms filled with puzzles.
Each room has a pretty simple goal—reach the exit. This is achieved by getting past enemies, hitting switches, and not dying. Players are armed with the most basic moves, jumping and ramming (which can be performed in both the air and on the ground), but Escape Goat 2 really throws a wrench in the formula with a small mouse found early on in the game.
The mouse can be released at any time to crawl through spaces much too small for the goat and to hit switches found on walls and ceilings out of reach. The same mouse is also granted some pretty mystical powers over the course of the game such as the ability to warp to his immediate location.
It’s with the introduction of these mechanics that Escape Goat 2 diverts in a puzzle-platforming path, not too unlike that of Portal. Complex puzzles are given graceful and unique solutions, giving each room a distinctly memorable feeling. Add onto that obstacles, traps, and enemies with tricky patterns, and Escape Goat 2 offers a puzzle experience that’s sure to entertain for its short running time of just a few hours.
Developer MagicalTimeBean has managed to squeeze even more replayability into the game with a Metroid style branching system that lets players tackle different parts of the game at their leisure. Plus doing so can actually have an impact on the layout of other stages down the road. This certainly adds more reasons to come back and play the game over and over and even speedrunning for those obsessed with beating their best times.
Escape Goat 2 certainly looks fantastic with an entire bevvy of hand-drawn sprites and backgrounds, all tailored specifically for HD displays. Compare this to the original’s DOS style visuals and you’ve got yourself one eerie game that evokes an air of mystery and darkness to fit the bizarre mythos at work here.
Escape Goat 2 plays comfortably, looks great, and offers up the perfect amount of challenge for puzzle aficionados. Fans of the original are definitely advised to pick it up as it almost feels like an Escape Goat HD except with even more new content. Those new to the puzzling goat game are just as fine off picking up this game without playing the original.
The game is definitely more than worth its $10 asking price, but is a no-brainer once Steam sales roll around. Pick it up, sit down, and enjoy some truly solid and unique puzzles for one lazy afternoon. It’s a change of pace from many games out there, but such a thing is what makes Escape Goat 2 truly worth it for all the time spent with it.
[+Simple and tight controls][+Inventive puzzles][+Open-world style level setup][-Not for you if you hate puzzles]