Goats, eh? They get a bad press with their association with satanic rituals, being the head parts of man eating mythological Chimeras, and generally being the lesser loved when it comes to field sharing with the more cuddly and socially acceptable sheep. But thanks to Toto Temple Deluxe on the PlayStation 4 – building on the groundwork that Goat Simulator laid – the goat comeback may just be on thanks to the pervasive power of video games.
This game is at heart a simple multiplayer brawler that sees competing totems battle to grab the most coins (of varying point values) in a range of temple levels. Imagine if Lara Croft or Nathan Drake were crossed with Inca deity-shaped jelly babies, and you'll have some idea of what the player controlled totems look like. Still with us? Well, add a good-natured egg-laying goat or two to the mix, as if you manage to grab the animal and stick it onto your shiny coloured head, you will automatically generate points just by running about.
Let's quickly recap: you control a mini coloured deity totem who must jump about collecting coins while battling your competitors in order to secure the goat balancing rights and win the day. Standard.
Each temple level has a cool range of secrets which can be power ups such as a drill helmet that allows you to burst straight through platforms through to additional hazards which can change up the flow of the action such as moving traps and platforms.
Despite the complexity, Toto Temple Deluxe is refreshingly easy to play with simple controls that consist of running left and right, jumping, and dashing (you dash into a player who has the goat in order to 'steal' it). The low bar to entry means that this is an absolutely ideal party game where the point grabbing, goat nabbing action can get frantic.
Much fun was had and no goats were harmed – apart from the exploding ones – in the multiple playthroughs for this review. We tried this goat-'em-up with different socio-economic groups including an excitable youth squad of teens, an after-dinner party, and more. It went down well with pretty much all demographics.
One aspect that makes it so appealing is its winning cartoon graphical style, which, while certainly not going to steal the limelight from Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, is pleasingly quirky. Another nice touch is that the on-screen colour of your totem is reflected by the colour of your DualShock 4's light bar, which is handy if you want to quickly check who is the real life goat grabber that you need to take down.
Juicy Beast Studio has created a decent little game here which shines when played with pals in a local multiplayer environment on a big screen, then. And once you tire of the normal goat antics, you can bring on the highly dangerous explosive goat option. This Bomberman-esque twist gives you the added urgency that the goat will blow up after a limited amount of time – slaying all but the totem who has the goat.
Toto Temple Deluxe is a recommended multiplayer game that deserves a look. This is fast, fun, squeal-inducing action for all of the family/herd. It's a game that will go down well at any awkward family get-together, dinner party, or youth group – and another reason to love indie game producers for taking an established gaming formula and making it fresh all over again. Get your goat, you've pulled...