This is the way sequels should be made. If you enjoyed the original Escape Goat, you're in for a real treat. I found the first game to be fun but felt like the main campaign was over as it was just getting good. This game isn't baaaa--ad at all. Yes, I went there.
Escape Goat 2 has quite a bit more to offer. The story is richer (especially for a puzzle game), the gameplay is a lot more varied, and the puzzles offer even more profound "Ah ha!" moments than the first game.
The system for moving between levels is much better this time around. If you get stuck you can easily pull up the new overworld map system and go back to any other puzzle--no more need to start rooms over at the first puzzle just to get to that fifth puzzle again.
Regarding story, the original Escape Goat didn't have much--which was part of its appeal. You won't find anything too deep here but there is more this time around. If you talk to all of the animals you'll get quite a bit more backstory and world history. I found myself feeling excited to beat the next section of levels so that I could see what would happen next; the game did a good job at keeping me coming back for more.
The art is fantastic, I enjoy the attention to detail and the new lighting engine adds a lot of depth to the feeling of the game. The soundtrack is great too; I didn't find any of the tracks to be repetitive and didn't feel the need to use my own music while playing the game.
The original Escape Goat had a few secrets. This game has so much more to offer. I was floored the first time I discovered a secret room. The mechanics for getting into that particular secret room were so clever. I don’t want to spoil any of the fun though, so I’ll leave it at that.
The first Escape Goat was a nearly flawless execution of what it wanted to be: a clever, compact puzzle platformer that didn't sacrifice cleverness for comprehensibility. In a lot of ways Escape Goat 2 is just more of the same, albeit with a much nicer art style, but in expanding the original experience it loses a lot of what made the first game so smart. It feels like a sequel that someone felt they ought to make instead of an outlet for the ideas that couldn't didn't previously make the cut, and although that same great game is still at the core the level of consistent direction is not, leaving Escape Goat 2 in many ways a lesser experience than the one which preceded it.
That sounds fairly damning so I should probably backpedal a moment to stress that this is in no way a terrible follow up to proverbial classic. The first half of the game is in many ways just as fun as its ever been, reintroducing many of the same mechanics as the original and reminding me why I loved that game so much. It's at this point that I was firmly in love with the game, for as familiar as it was I had been wishing for more Escape Goat and developer Magical Time Bean was here to satisfy.
Unfortunately it may have been better if I had decided to quit after seeing the credits roll the first time, as upon returning to the castle to visit the other half of optional puzzles I'd unlocked the cracks in Escape Goat 2's foundation started turning into holes.
What the first game did so well and seemingly effortlessly was introduce new mechanics non-verbally, teaching you through gameplay instead of a traditional tutorial as it switched up the puzzle hook every new world. 2 does this too, but it often operates under a presumption that you're already familiar with the systems it introduces, and freely uses them without giving you time to learn in a game that's already a far steeper challenge than the original. Where the first game was always careful to be completely clear when showing you how its world worked, Escape Goat 2 is muddy and hard to parse.
The only way for me to get around this was through trial and error and occasionally leaning on a guide for support, neither of which I'd previously felt necessary as I always had everything I needed right in front of me and had been taught how to make use of them. There were numerous recurring moments where I was completely unsure how a puzzle was even suppose to work, and the game was giving me no hints to ease me in. It's not that the puzzles are more difficult but that they feel cheap and intentionally difficult to understand, often including red herring items just to clutter the screen and usually relying on switches which you typically have no idea what will trigger until you already have.
The significantly increased reliance on timing and twitch platforming expose a lot of the otherwise serviceable control issues, most frustrating being the odd weighting which makes precision movement agonizingly inconsistent. Many puzzles begin already in motion, leaving me no time to even look over what I'm jumping into before I have to start making decisions that usually caused me to have to restart because I missed a jump or didn't hit a button at exactly the right moment. It's things that feel out of place and work poorly within Escape Goat 2's framework, like puzzles that were originally scrapped but brought back in just to pad out a game thinks it needs to be larger for the sake of being a sequel.
I think it's worth mentioning again that Escape Goat 2 isn't awful, and I don't regret the time I spent with it. It's simply that coming from such near perfection to comparative mediocrity is rather more shocking than it might have otherwise been if this had been the first game. Escape Goat 2 fails largely because of the weight of its predecessor, which in its attempts to best end up being its downfall. If all you ever wanted was more Escape Goat, that's definitely here, but when I finally exited the last room I had begun to considerably question if I really did want that as much as I had thought I did.
Full disclosure: Escape Goat 2 was reviewed using a copy provided by the developer. You can read more of my writing on Kritiqal[kritiqal.com].
33 of 41 people (80%) found this review helpful 1 person found this review funny
7.1 hrs on record
Posted: March 24, 2014
I absolutely loved Escape Goat, and I am happy to see more of it now. Escape Goat 2 is basically more of the same, which is not a bad thing. It offers a nice balance of platforming and solving intelligent puzzles. The controls and mechanics are just great. Really nothing to complain about here.
The difficulty is very low in the first few levels and always gets a little higher from level to level. Nobody should have any problems getting into the game. And yet it is quite challenging later on. Escape Goat 1 offered some high difficulty levels after beating the campaign. I expect the successor to offer the same (I didn't beat it yet, so I just can assume it will).
The main difference to the first part is the graphics style. Instead of the basic pixel art we got in Escape Goat 1, this game now uses a new high definition graphics style, which many people will like. I personally prefer the old art style, but I am fine with either of them. The most important thing for me is, that the controls didn't change at all. Despite the new graphics the game feels absolutely like the first part. Not all games manage to do that.
I like it a lot. Both Escape Goat games are real indie gems. You will enjoy your time.
In short? It is like Escape Goat 1, only with a much higher level of polish. While this is a good thing for me, people who didn't like the first game, or those who mastered it might not find much to enjoy. You will find yourself doing much the same levels and facing much the same challenges. The new mechanics are fine, but they don't add anything particularly interesting that rises above the base game.
For first time players or those wanting more? It is a must buy. Just don't expect the same level of magic all over again.
I played the first Escape Goat tons of times and this pretty much blows the first one out of the water. It adds a lot of new features while keeping some old ones, despite the new features being there for a few short levels. However there is a lot more to do in order to go through a lot of levels so there's more things to do rather than going through ten worlds and four extra worlds. There's a strange diffculty curve in some levels where you might spend ten minutes on one level figuring out what to do, then the next might take you two minutes. Either way the puzzles are interesting enough that you might even take some of them on in different ways, rather than going through what the game intends you to. The graphics are way better than the first, moving from pixel graphics to fancy drawn graphics and neat little idle animations. Soundtrack is also really amazing. If you liked the frist Escape Goat, you'll really love this sequel. If you haven't played the first, then I'd really recommend just moving onto this one, since there's nothing much to miss on the story.
Escape Goat is a more of the same really, but in a neater and bigger package. It has more levels, better graphics but not necessarily better puzzles. The rooms are small, and completing them should take you just a couple of minutes to complete, provided that you know exactly what to do. Thankfully there are a lof of them. Still, completing them all shouldn't take you much longer than a couple of hours. But because of its short length this game is always a pleasure to play and shouldn't frustrate anyone with overly long or annoying puzzles like many other games manage to do. Recommended !
As great as the first Escape Goat, great logic platformer that's not extremely hard (though it has it's moments). It's worth mentioning there's also Steam Workshop support, so community may get you even more time spent with the purple goat.