We’ve previously covered Sonoshee‘s (@Sonoshit on twitter) Critters For Sale: SNAKE, a unique episodic take on the visual novel genre through a fresh perspective riffing on pop culture and to which shows no signs of stopping with the new entry GOAT.
Goat keeps up the intense visual style that made the original so compelling, despite going from a hotel to a desert the aesthetic remains fully intact and just as vibrant as ever. What has changed is the tone- Goat is an origin story of side characters from the first episode, and by the very nature of said character follows suit with a more dramatic presentation.
It’s difficult to talk about the game at this point without spoiling it, and it’s worth reading our piece on the first episode and then giving it a try for yourself. Sonoshee has mastered cultivating a look that seperates itself from just about any other visual novel we’ve come across, creating a delightfully neo-pulp fiction narrative that has kept me engaged without ever making me roll my eyes. It’s a new kind of subgenre that I can only think to compare to the early works of Suda51 like The Silver Case or the trashy zinepunk satire of Dog Of Dracula. Goat’s imagery drips with character and fluid motion, making you want to gawk at it for hours and making it feel neigh-impossible to capture in any simple still frame, liberal use of animated GIFs seems like the only way to nail even a shred of the entire experience.
Without pomp and circumstance, it’s delightful to see something in the indie market that cuts right to the chase and is un-apologetically true to itself. It’s sadly run into a few issues regarding celebrity image usage for its steam release, but hopefully it can be overcome without stripping too much from the game, the narrative bleeds charm and the usage of imagery comes off tastefully. It’s nice to play something that keeps the pacing tight and doesn’t overstay it’s welcome even with multiple paths, repeat play-throughs hav depth without coming off as cumbersome.
Dramatic, Violent, Humorous, and entirely up in your face, Critters For Sale continues to be one of RE:BIND’s favorite pieces we’ve seen this year. Besides, where else are you going to find a game that features a questionably implemented guest appearance of everyone’s favorite hip hop icon MC Ride? Goat’s cheeky charm and avid determination to push the edges of art in games gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.
Go give the game some love on Steam Wishlist, and expect to see a spoiler-ridden analysis on the meaning of its eclectic cultural references when all the episodes have released for the Steam version.
Emily Rose is an indie developer who writes for rebind.io and resides in the pacific northwest. She’s often seen in the local VR arcade and developer community participating in pushing the medium’s horizons. You can find her on twitter @caravanmalice