Death Goat is a Heavy Metal inspired twin stick shooter in where you are tasked to slay all manner of monsters while the headbanging soundtrack blasts in the background. Starting the game, you’ll immediately choose from three options. The arena, your character of choice and most importantly which song you want in the background. Funnily enough, none of these choices matter. All the characters look and play the same as do the three arenas you can choose from.
What really matters in this title is the music, oh man the music. There are a ton to choose from, and all are just great. The primary motivation to stay alive is to listen to as much of a song as you can before succumbing to the overwhelming numbers. Nobody wants to die in the middle of listening to a sick guitar riff, but as fate would have it, this game is very challenging. Your enemies will range from skulls with spider legs, babies that have a worm’s body and a few other foes whose only form of attack is to rush right toward you.
Unfortunately, you are ill-equipped for the job and wield a wimpy wand that will barely faze the ravenous horde. Power-ups will randomly drop though they are pretty hit or miss in their usefulness. For instance, a blue orb gives you a stream of lightning with a range comparable to bringing a toothpick to a knife fight while a purple orb decimates all who stand in your path with a rapid firing spread shot. They do not last forever nor do they have ammo. Instead, they last for a very limited time, forcing you to make the best of it while you can.
The colored orbs that represent the power-ups have a rather annoying flaw in the form of their abrupt disappearances. Most games of this type show how long power-ups have left before they disappear by way of increasingly rapid blinking but not in Death Goat. You’ll occasionally make a mad dash to one only for it to suddenly disappear just before you get it. Sounds like an unimportant oversight but it affects the gameplay significantly since you do not have any invincibility frames if you get hit, and you’ll always be surrounded by tons of enemies, making any reckless movements likely to be your last.
You will always respawn with a blue shield that can take three hits before crumbling and leaving you exposed to death with the next blow. If ever you find yourself in an inescapable situation due to your pea shooter of a weapon not disposing of enemies fast enough you will have access to three pentagram spells which will destroy all monsters in your vicinity. The only way to replenish them is to be lucky enough for an enemy to randomly drop them. Your motivation for surviving as long as you can is an extra character and your competitiveness when it comes to leaderboards if you care about it.
With such a simple game, one would expect it to be more or less polished, but it does have its fair share of issues. Most importantly is the incompatibly with higher refresh rates than 60hz. If you have a monitor/TV higher than that, your character will move at an absurdly high speed. He is not supposed to run anywhere near that fast. It can be to your benefit if you can control him but what is more likely for most of us is that we’ll accidentally zoom right into the middle of a cluster of enemies and be torn apart.
There are some issues with making it go into fullscreen as well. The check-box that activates it does not work and you’ll have to “alt + enter” to go force it out of windowed mode. Hardly a major issue though it is something to be aware of and not likely to be fixed considering Death Goat’s last update was nearly a year ago at the time of this review. Moving on from the technical side of things, the artwork is very well done for the enemies. There is not much variety to them, but they look like something out of a Metal album which is very fitting. Environments, on the other hand, are completely bland with little to differentiate them.
In under a minute you’ll see everything Death Goat has to offer and most of it is quite bland and uninspired. If you’ve ever played a twin-stick shooter, there is nothing of note here other than its theme and the amazing music that accompany it. The soundtrack completely won me over, making it the sole reason why I continued to play and that is saying a lot considering Heavy Metal is typically not my go to music genre. Death Goat also costs a mere three bucks which does not excuse the technical issues or blandness though it does make it a lot easier to accept. I review games, not music but the insanely good soundtrack is well worth the price of admission in my opinion while the game is just acceptable enough to recommend.