You may be a little confused at the title of this game, but once you read on, you’ll realize that Goats and Gadgets (out now, $0.99) is a nice little physics puzzler that deserves your consideration. For those of you who like to support indie developers, pay close attention. This is the debut release from indie studio Big Sprite Games who hope to make their mark on the App Store and after playing Goats and Gadgets, I certainly hope they invest more time into the crowded land that is iOS.
You are tasked with guiding fluffy white goats to juicy apples set strategically around the levels. The levels are all 2D and feature colorful cartoony graphics that make the game more appealing to the eye. It may sound simple at first but there are yetis, trolls, and lurking spiders which all happen to hate goats. Occasionally you see the yeti open his mouth and the troll drop his jaw – animations which are both welcome to make the levels even more lively.
The controls are simple and somewhat intuitive. Simply swipe in the direction that you would like to move – left, right, up, or down. I muddled up a few times between swiping right and upwards – I’m not sure if it’s the game being too sensitive or if it’s just me being a dunce. You can’t get any simpler than these controls and I’m glad the developers didn’t try anything clever. It just works.
You may be wondering when the ‘gadgets’ part comes in. Each level had either an elevating platform, sliding platform, a cannon, portals, or a combination of a few. The most common are the moving platforms which move once one goat activate the timer switch. This is where things gets serious. You need to concentrate and think really hard (albeit difficult when there are cartoon goats and yetis on your screen) about each of your moves. The yetis walk around so you can’t just jump around and avoid them. You need to plan ahead. This is what I love about Goats and Gadgets. Many of the levels require you to test out all the switches and see what controls what. Then you restart the level. Think carefully. Once you have figured out your plan – it’s go time.
The controls need to be super effective here and as I explained before, they are. Each move needs to be executed perfectly so you don’t get smacked by the yeti. It may sound like some sort of stealth game and it could certainly be one, but the developers chose to go with goats and apples for some strange reason.
If you lose one goat, the level restarts and you are back to square one. Goats and Gadgets comes with 40 challenging levels spread across 4 different worlds. Although the levels may differ in color and feel between each world, the core gameplay doesn’t vary much. The yetis and trolls remain to be the dominant monsters. The goats never get sick of eating apples. The gadgets are limited.
iFanzine Verdict: Goats and Gadgets is a hidden gem. It features fun, colorful graphics with an awesome gameplay idea and perfectly simple controls to match. Although it may get slightly boring after the second world due to the lack of new gadgets or enemies, the first twenty levels are well worth a dollar.