Jeff Minter, with his alter-ego/software company, Llamasoft, has been creating ungulate related games for as long as I can remember. On the Amiga games like Llamatron and Attack of the Mutant Camels were ridiculously over the top arcade perfection, with retro (even then) graphics, lofi sound, and pixel perfect controls. GoatUp is a fine addition to Minter’s metaphorical stable (as opposed to the real stable he probably owns.)
In GoatUp, you control an incredibly nimble and fertile nanny goat who must jump from platform to platform to climb an impossibly tall tower into the sky, picking up bonus items and powerups along the way. Every so often you will meet a billy goat, kissing billy goats gives you more points and also causes you to get pregnant. After a while you instantaneously give birth to a kid that follows you around, if you survive long enough you can get a long chain of offspring trailing behind you. This is useful for defeating enemies, but disturbing if you stop to think about it. Luckily, there is no time to think – you must always be climbing and the game is hard, hard, hard.
The old games lived by their control schemes and GoatUp provides several. The only one that really works well is moving via tilting left or right, and jumping with a touch. You can tell that some thought has been put into the controls, and they work much better than the tilt controls in other games. Speaking of old games, GoatUp’s graphics are deliberately designed to look like various games from the 80′s, some pretty obscure. Part of the fun is trying to remember the particular game that is being invoked.
Recommended if you like this sort of thing.