by Jonathan Fortin
reviewed on PC
What is it about goats that make games about them so fun?
Last night, I was having a hard time. My mind was distracted by stress, I was wired up due to some drama, and I was just feeling irritable and anxious. But then I discovered that I’d been sent a review copy of Escape Goat 2, and booted it up.
A few hours later, I realized that I’d been completely absorbed. With its enjoyable puzzles, colorful graphics, and general sense of charm, this game kept my brain occupied well enough for me to cool down. Yes, I will say it: Escape Goat 2 is such jolly good fun that playing it improved my state of mind.
You will be a happier person for playing this game.
The goat escape
Escape Goat 2 is exactly what it sounds like: you play as a goat and help it escape from a mysterious tower, solving puzzles to get from one screen to the next. Each puzzle takes place over a single screen, with the camera never moving.
Sometimes proceeding is a simple matter of getting to the door, but oftentimes to open that door you will need to collect all the keys on the screen. This is performed through a combination of platforming, charging to push blocks or break through wood, and using an adorable mouse companion that can climb along walls and push buttons.
It’s really quite a cute game. The goat’s tail even wags while you are standing still.
Goats ‘n’ stuff
Having not played the original Escape Goat, I cannot compare this sequel to it. My understanding is that Escape Goat 2 is quite similar, but with much better graphics.
Early on, the game is very easy—it won’t take any time at all for you to get through the initial puzzles. This creates a great sense of pace and movement, keeping things moving. However, as you would expect, the difficulty steadily increases over time. The puzzles become more complicated. The platforming requires more split-second jumps. Aside from a few weird difficulty spikes (more on that later), the game eases you into its mechanics. The result is a fun collection of brain twisters.
An ever-changing labyrinth...with goats
The environments often move in a maze-like fashion. Touching buttons can move the blocks that form the walls around you—or, in more dire situations, the floor beneath you.
Some screens contain upgrades that grant you magical powers, like the ability to swap places with your mouse companion, or transform said mouse into a block. These only last for a single screen, but are always necessary for finishing that screen. These upgrades add fresh challenges, helping make sure that each puzzle feels unique.
Fun, well-executed puzzles; colorful graphics; a sense of charm.
Frustrating final section; occasional difficulty spikes.