King-of-the-Hill Platformer GoatPunks Available Now

Saddle up on your horses — er, I mean, goats — mates, as GoatPunks is now available for purchase on the Steam store, with day-one Linux support.

It’s a cute little platformer where the player is in control of a cartoonish goat, battling among three other goats — be they CPUs, local, or online players — as they race to get to the top of the hill and stand put for thirty seconds, before some other punk — er, goat — comes and knocks you off (in which some of the time you’ve been on top will be deducted).

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As you climb, you’ll come across various power-ups, like double rockets or extended shield time. The former will let you drop two rockets simultaneously instead of what is normally one when you’re on top, which will make it easier to keep the other critters off your territory, while the latter will let you shield yourself longer than normal, to keep you from falling off if a rocket happens to land on your goat as you’re climbing. As of this time, King-of-the-Hill is the only mode available, with four other modes to come, including two-versus-two and survival.

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There are nine maps and nine different goats to choose from, each with their own looks and attributes (speed, shield, charge, skill). You can change the accessory that they wear, from a sword, to wings, to a hat, and customize the color of it. You can only play on one map when playing the game for the first time; the next will be unlocked after meeting a certain condition, be it winning in first place, hitting goats with rockets from the top a certain amount of times, or “charging” other goats off the hill. This charge ability lets the goat travel a great distance in a short amount of time, knocking off any goats that might be in the way.

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The difficulty quickly escalates. By the time you reach the third level, you’ll have a boss to beat, and let me tell you, it’s not easy to get him off his lofty throne.

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What I find interesting is that everything — from the music to the art to the sound effects to the code — is all done by one guy, whose name is Alberto Santiago. Eki has actually met him at the last Tokyo Games Show 2016 and he was apparently a very cool dude. Pretty sweet what he’s got going so far, even though it’s in Early Access. The interface is simply laid out and easy to navigate. Nice of him for the Linux support, too — this game should easily run on most modern hardware, and my Xbox controller was picked up just fine.

Would be nice if in a future update there’s an option to turn off the split screens. I don’t need to look at the screens other than my own.

Grab a copy and play with your friends, be they right with you in person or even online. It’s an ingenious, lighthearted delight that will lift your mood.

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