You fight like a dairy farmer!
HIGH Each level contains a different scenario.
LOW The pacing of each round can drag.
WTF Is that … Lo Wang from Shadow Warrior?
Sometimes I’m in the mood for an 80-hour epic across worlds, exploring untamed reaches of the universe with a squadron of rich characters. Other times, I admire a game that has a single idea and can get in and get out quickly enough to impart that idea without overstaying its welcome. Oh…Sir!! The Insult Simulator is the latter.
Originally developed during a 48-hour game jam, its humble scope is its greatest strength. Borrowing heavily from The Secret of Monkey Island’s iconic “insult swordfighting”, 2D fighting games, and the comedy of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Oh…Sir!! pits players against one another (or against the CPU) in an 8 Mile-like battle of insults.
The gameplay is so simple that it could probably work as a card game. Players go head to head with a list of words and sentence fragments between them. From this list, players draw subjects, prepositions, adjectives, adverbs, and such like a reverse Mad Libs, piecing together the sickest of burns.
As players take turns choosing one word or fragment at a time, that selection is removed from the field of available choices. Players continue to pick until the selection is depleted or there are no more choices that would make grammatical sense. Each player also has two additional phrases in their hand, unseen by the other player. These can be shuffled out once-per-insult. These secret phrases can be the difference between winning or losing, and they add just enough unpredictability to matches to keep them interesting.
In the end, players end up constructing absurd insults that adhere to a very Monty Python-esque brand of humor, such as “Your mother / does not like / your math teacher / and / your cousin’s car / smells of / a hamster!”. Once an insult is played, it does damage to the opponent’s health bar proportional to the number of segments used.
This structure creates an interesting set of risk/reward balances throughout the battle. Players are rewarded for creating the longest insult possible, but the opponent may take the word needed to finish the sentence before it can be completed. If a sentence is left unfinished, it does no damage and forfeits a turn, which can be disastrous in neck-and-neck battles.
For even greater risk/reward, players are occasionally presented with the opportunity to forfeit the current round and carry their insult into the next for an opportunity to make an extremely long and high-scoring phrase. Of course, if that second set of words is a dead end, then the player just wasted two rounds.
Adding another twist, each player selects from one of several fully-voiced and lovingly animated characters. Each has an insecurity, be it their sense of style, their family, and so on. Insults that contain elements of those sensitive issues double the damage of the entire insult, leading to some devastating blows to the ego. However, I felt like this mechanic could have been made a bit more interesting.
As it is, each character has a set vulnerability that remains constant, but it would be more interesting if the weaknesses were randomly assigned at the beginning of each bout. In such case, players would have to be observant of the other player’s actions. Do they always start their insults with a familial subject matter? That could be the type of card that they’re trying to get off of the playing field to protect themselves, and may serve as an indicator of what their weakness is – much like real life, bullies tend to insult others in areas that they’re insecure about.
The package comes with multiplayer (online and offline) single matches against the CPU, a traditional fighting-game arcade mode, and a thorough training mode. It’s surprisingly full-featured.
Overall, the game presents simple but compelling word strategy with just the right mix of predictability and random chance. One’s enjoyment of Oh…Sir!! may come down to whether or not the style of humor clicks, but it’s hard to deny that it delivers great value for its tiny $2 asking price.
Also, your face smells of a dead parrot’s farts.
Disclosures: This game is developed by Vile Monarch and published by Gambitious Digital Entertainment. It is currently available on PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android. This copy of the game was obtained via publisher and reviewed on the PC. Approximately 2 hours of play were devoted to the single-player mode, and the game was completed. 0.5 hours of play were spent in multiplayer modes.
Parents: This game is not rated by the ESRB. Though rude and employing some very tame toilet humor, there is no profanity and little objectionable material.
Deaf & Hard of Hearing Gamers: The game plays well without audio, but the voice acting does serve as one of the core appeals of the game.
Remappable Controls: No, this game’s controls are not remappable.
Colorblind Modes: There are no colorblind modes available in the options.
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