Escape Goat

Escape Goat is a puzzle platforming game that puts the player in the role of a purple goat that has been imprisoned for the crime of witchcraft. Your goal is to escape the fearsome prison of Agnus, and to do so you'll have to clear several sets of single screen rooms by reaching the exit. Doing so is harder than it sounds, since each room is challenging in its own way. Fortunately, you have some good platforming skills at your disposal, including a double jump and a dash move. Plus, you've managed to enlist the help of a friendly mouse, who proves to be very useful indeed.

The platforming in Escape Goat works very nicely, with tight controls and a gentle learning curve. However, the real challenge comes in the form of the puzzles. Each level is a giant puzzle that must be solved, with many of them requiring you to reach a key (or keys) before you can move on to the exit. Most levels have several switches in them that you must activate to clear a pathway out. There is a certain amount of trial and error involved since it's virtually impossible to tell what hitting a switch in a level will actually do, but that is very much a part of finding a solution to the level. This is where your rodent friend comes into play, as you can send him scurrying along walls and ceilings to get to places and switches you can't reach yourself. You can also call him back to you at any time, and he'll instantly return via some sort of magical teleportation. There are several features added along the way (like magical hats, pressure sensitive switches, and fireball throwing reapers) that help keep the puzzles fresh and interesting.

The graphics in Escape Goat have a distinct retro look to them, and the music (which is excellent) matches them perfectly. The storyline is minimal, yet bizzare and quite funny.

There is even a level editor included, allowing you to design your own puzzle rooms. Unfortunately, you can't share levels over Live, which limits the fun you can have with it, but it's still a nice addition.

The main reason to recommend Escape Goat, besides the great puzzles, is that it's immensely fun to play. The tight controls and clever level design make the game immediately enjoyable. Even when you die or get trapped, quick restarts and the size of the levels keep things from getting frustrating, and you'll find yourself wanting to have "just one more try" on a regular basis. I honestly believe this to be one of the finest titles on the XBox Live Indie channel, and I'd happily recommend it as a "must buy" for everyone.

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