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Escape Goat 2 Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Escape Goat 2 proves that platforming puzzles are not just for mascot characters with attitudes. This brand new PlayStation 4 game may use ideas you've seen in other releases, but it still manages to stand out thanks to its wildly diverse level designs, responsive controls and clever puzzles. Fans of N+ and Super Meat Boy will love four-legged platforming hero. Rating: 78%
Escape Goat 2
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  • Review Score:

  • B+
If you've spent any amount of time playing video games over the last few decades, then chances are you have had to escape from a few deadly spaces. From the action star running out of an exploding red barrel factory to a cartoon mascot trying to get away from his flying nemesis, we've escaped the worst situations with characters that come in all shapes and sizes. But while it's common to see the sword-wielding hero high-tail it out of the dragon's lair, it's not every day you control a goat trying to escape a dangerous castle.

Believe it or not, this is exactly what you do in Escape Goat 2 for the PlayStation 4. Forget taking control of a knight, spelunker or any other traditional hero, because this time around we're a surly goat double-jumping his way to freedom. We do this by taking our four-legged friend through dozens of platforming puzzles, each more difficult than the last.

Escape Goat 2 (PlayStation 4)Click For the Full Picture Archive

The good news is that we're not alone on this journey. Our goat is joined by a very handy mouse, who is able to fit into small areas and sit on buttons. He's there for those times when double-jumps and head-butts won't do. And thanks to a number of useful power-ups, this faithful rodent is able to transform into inanimate objects and swap places with the captive goat. Working together, there's nothing this pair can't overcome.

But even a combined eight legs, this intimidating castle isn't going to make it easy for these two adventurers. Each of the game's nine areas adds new obstacles and gameplay mechanics, making players constantly stay on their toes in order to win. The goal in each stage is to collect all the keys to unlock the door and exit to the next stage. But as incredibly simple as that sounds, you'll quickly discover that escaping this castle requires perfect timing and platforming skills.

After introducing the basics, Escape Goat 2 ratchets up the difficulty by introducing new obstacles. Some stages are all about difficult jumping challenges, while others have our goat avoiding deadly electrical currents. We also run into fire-throwing enemies and even a dim-witted flying skeletal snake. The game is constantly tossing out new ideas, making for an escape that never feels repetitive.

Escape Goat 2 (PlayStation 4)Click For the Full Picture Archive

The solutions are not always obvious, and some stages will require a lot of testing to complete the puzzle. At the same time, there are a lot of stages where the solution is simple, but players will need to have the platforming skills to make the complicated jumps. The game manages to come up with consistently strong level designs, making Escape Goat 2 one of the best puzzle platformers since Super Meat Boy.

Despite having a proper story (something about saving the souls of sheep from a mythical tower), it only exists to offer motivation. Don't come into Escape Goat 2 looking for a strong narrative and a real character arc, because this is a game about a double-jumping goat and his rodent sidekick. This is also not what you might call a showpiece PlayStation 4 game, as it's made up of very simple 2D pixel sprites. With the exception of a few graphical flourishes, this looks like the kind of game that could have easily come out on the Super NES.

Escape Goat 2 (PlayStation 4)Click For the Full Picture Archive

This is the kind of game that will appeal to the same group of players who fell in love with N+ and Super Meat Boy. The levels are all contained to a single screen and the puzzles, while difficult, are never overwhelming. And just when you think the game is about to end, the map (detailed on a stained-glass window) reveals a half dozen new paths with even more challenging puzzles. Although you can beat the game at the 50% mark, I suspect most players will not want to stop until every sheep is saved and our goat hero is truly free.

Escape Goat 2 is a great reminder of how satisfying a good puzzle platformers can be. Although you've seen some of these ideas in other releases, this PlayStation 4 game stands out with its wildly diverse level designs, responsive controls and clever puzzles. I've escaped with a lot of different characters in my life, but few are as much fun as this goat.
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