Oh Sir…! The Insult Simulator Review
For the purpose of transparency, this review was completed using a review code provided by Vile Monarch. The use of a review code does not affect my judgement of this product.
I am a big fan of when indie studios try something new and completely different – which the team at Vile Monarch have tried with this game. But, does being a unique game make it worth your time?
I would not say the game has any sort of continuous story, but each level does give you some narrative to why the insult battle has begun. Be it over a train seat or that you have returned a dead parrot to a store. Each level has it’s few opening and victory/defeat lines, and that is about it for narrative outside of your created insults.
Now with the main part of the game being based on the insults you are throwing at your AI or online opponents, I thought it would be best to start this review looking at that part of the game. Firstly each character is well voice acted, and this does help the game slightly – but, its let down in many other places. You can see that the team have taken inspiration from the British comedy great Monty Python, be it the aforementioned dead parrot scene or the high pitch voice of Mrs. Maggie – which has been performed by a male. The insults start of to be funny and will give you a giggle, however, it doesn’t take long to become boring.
The reasons it can soon become boring are… Firstly, the same lines are continuously recycled and you soon notice how little options the game gives you. Secondly the AI puts together any old garbage and will score points, and the makes the game become an unfunny mess. Obviously, this can be avoided playing against others online, but the scoring metric is still the same. Meaning, you can just shot anything together as long as it makes grammatical sense – this seems to be all the game looks for.
How do you defeat you opponent with insults? I hear you ask, well the game works like a fighting game – you have a health bar. The more you score per insult the more the health bar of you opponent drops. This is where the previously mentioned messed up scoring becomes the issue. You could string together a really long-winded insult and then score less than your opponents nonsensical insult. To give you an example against the AI my insult was “Your father has bum cancer and your mum tells dirty jokes at funerals, you cross-eyed, inbred muckspout!” to which the AI’s insult was “Your beloved auntie wanted to be your seat and secretly adores your hovercraft” – and the AI’s insult scored the most points. For me this is where the basics of the gameplay fail, and can ruin what Vile Monarch have tried to create.
For me this lack of sense in the scoring system really lets the game down. If it worked properly, the game could become very tactical and have been great. The way tactics come into it are well described in the ‘Learn to Insult’ (tutorial) part of the game. There are many ways to can get more points from your insults. You can use the same insult in consecutive rounds (if it is available) to get multiplier, so just say you used ‘your hat’ in two consecutive rounds you get a X2 multiplier. Each character has a weakness when it comes to insults and using these against them will score you more points – for example Mr J Shufflebottom is his sense of style, so say something about how he is dressed and more points for you. You might also get options that end with a ‘!’ – finish off with these and you can can get more points for being Rude. You will also sometimes be given ‘(…)’ as an option, this means to have finished for that round, but what you have created so far will carry over, giving you the option for a long insult. Taking into acocunt the well thought out tactics/scoring system you see where the nonsensical insults take away from what the game offers.
I did find the visual style in the game quite appealing, with the characters and backgrounds being a pixellated style. Each character has also been given their own look and unique style, which also represents their allocated weakness well – with Mr J Shufflebottom being a suit a bowler hat, to go with his weakness to sense of style. However, little touches like that does not take away from the core gameplay being so broken.
The game comes with a number of modes. You will find the tutorial, single match and tournament mode under AI, and then it has multiplayer. I think the only time you might find yourself going back to the game, is if you have a friend with it and you can play the rule of no crap nonsensical insults. However, as mentioned there is a lack of options to select from, meaning you will soon be making the same or variations of insults you’ve used before – and then its game over for Oh Sir…! The Insult Simulator.
The last thing I would like to mention about the game, is that it doesn’t cost much, coming in at £2.49 – but, I still find it hard to recommend even at this price.