Ever wonder what it would be like to be trapped in a labyrinthine dungeon full of dangerous contraptions that stand in the way of the light at the end of the tunnel? Ever wonder about doing all of that, but the whole time you were a goat? Enter Escape Goat 2 by MagicalTimeBean! A unique puzzle platformer, Escape Goat 2 puts you in the shoes (or perhaps hooves?) of a goat trapped in an unknown place. It's up to you to venture through the mysterious areas, escape one puzzling room after another, and save the souls of sheep who are trapped there as well.
Developed by MagicalTimeBean and published by Double Fine Productions, Escape Goat 2 takes you to new puzzle solving initiatives that offers quick thinking, strategy, and well timed control input. Speaking with Ian Stocker of MagicalTimeBean, he said that for the game, "I wanted to make a single-screen puzzle game where you had stackable blocks and machinery". Your primary objective is to escape each stage and save sheep as you pass from stage to stage. More of the map is revealed as you progress. You inch closer to the top as you dodge environmental hazards, threatening constructs, and scythe-wielding reapers.
As your titular goat character, you must track your way through each stage until you are able to unlock the door leading to the next stage. You can double jump, headbutt into objects, and summon a little mouse to aid you. The mouse is able to climb up the sides of walls to reach other areas you normally can't reach. The mouse can trigger unreachable panels that alters the stage layout and allow you the ability to transfer to the location he is at if you obtained a particular power up. Don't worry about his health, though. If he is hit by a hazard or enemy, he will simply return to you and you can start over.
The simplicity in Escape Goat 2 is what makes it such a great game to approach. Direct instructions let you know how the game works. Through trail and error when planning for a stage, it becomes clear what works and what doesn't. That is the best thing about going from stage to stage even if you make mistakes. You can find out what harms you and what the limit is on the distance your goat can go to before a hazard gets him. There are no major penalties for dying. The rooms are fairly sized and allow lots of time to think, so dying can offer you the chance to truly master a room before moving on. Other times, you would have to quickly find your solution as enemies or changes in the stage structure prevent you from obtaining victory. Eventually, your attempts will be well rewarded and you will feel accomplished for solving the stages.
The stages themselves are graphically fantastic as well. Ian said that all of the artwork was actually hand-drawn by one of their team members named Randy O' Connor. "Every frame of animation (and there's a ton) was hand animated and shaded in Photoshop". The graphics' lighting and attention to detail is great. The character models and stages are so well crafted. Even the backgrounds are gorgeous. With such flexible gameplay and tranquil settings, Escape Goat 2 is a game you can just relax with.
The music compliments the game very well. It has a mysterious, yet gentle sound to it. Makes it all the more of a relaxing game to test your brain and immediate reflexes. It's calming soundtrack helps to keep cool when you hit a wall in obstacles along the way. The tranquility is what makes Escape Goat 2 such a pleasant experience.
Escape Goat 2 is available right now on Steam. I highly recommend it for anyone who is interested in a different style and concept for a platforming puzzle game that will challenge your mind. If you are at all curious, you can visit the Escape Goat 2 website and see video previews and images on Steam. In the meantime, I will continue traveling from stage to stage and get out of that tower. Game on, N4G!
Day 3 | MagicalTimeBean