App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
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Having never had the privilege of playing a Llamasoft game before, I jumped at the chance (honestly, no pun intended I swear) to check out GoatUp. And assuming the developer's other offerings are anything like it, I have some backlog to catch up on. But that's neither here nor there.
GoatUp is a "playful platformer" from a developer that's long avoided the genre. A big focus here, aside from the obvious retro stylings, was to make a platformer that isn't focused on pixel-perfect placement. It's much less about timing and reflexes, and much more about plain, good old arcade-fashioned fun. And grazing. And goat kisses.
Much like any other Llamasoft game, GoatUp makes use of some fun retro aesthetics and sounds. The jumping, on the other hand, feels a bit less retro. It's much more lenient, for one thing. The platforms may get smaller (and crumble beneath the weight of hooves) as the goat gets higher, but the license plate-eating mammal controls well enough that he's easy to land on just about any surface. Vertical movement is also blissfully responsive. Tapping makes the goat hop, but holding allows him to jump much higher. Two full platform levels higher, actually. It's a total life-saver when the ground gets smaller and the levels scroll up faster.
As for the bad stuff... I've got nothing, really. The controls (tilt/tap and slide/tap for lefties and righties) all work great. It's delightfully out-there but not surreal enough as to be dumbfounding. Okay, I suppose if someone were to twist my arm I'd have to say that the ability to dispatch enemies isn't clear from the get-go and it's somewhat hidden in the game's built-in guide.
So now I've finally seen what all the fuss is about. I'll definitely be checking out Llamasoft's other titles. In the meantime, I highly recommend GoatUp to both fans and newcomers alike.