Some of the best videogames aren’t the ones which are overly convoluted, requiring dozens of hours before you can get anywhere, and it’s often the ones with the simplest mechanics which can be the most addictive. Virtual reality (VR) titles like Beat Saber or Tetris Effect have proven this time and time again, and now there could be another in Knocktwice Games’ first VR title Good Goliath.
Good Goliath has two core attributes which are always useful in a VR experience, energetic mechanics and highly interactive gameplay. With plenty of upper body motion combined with easy to pick up gameplay for that arcade action feel don’t let those cartoon graphics fool you, this is a bit of a workout.
The basic premise revolves around you being a giant, a good one in fact, hence the title. After what must have been a considerably long sleep you’ve awoken to find some rather angry little folks willing to wage war with your massive frame, throwing everything at you in a bid to take your hulking great ass down.
Naturally, that’s not going to happen because even if you’re a good soul you still need to protect yourself. And so begins what is essentially a wave-shooter just without the guns, instead, throwing back the very items being lobbed at you in a sort of tit for tat.
There’s no need to worry about movement as Good Goliath keeps you almost rooted to the same spot, with each level housed in a singular arena. Which makes for a comfortable experience whether you’re seated or standing. What you need to be able to do is catch stuff, hurl it back and dodge any incoming projectiles you don’t want to or can’t catch – such as fireballs.
As you don’t have any weaponry or defensive capabilities apart from two giant hands, killing the waves of attackers requires using their weapons against them. Pitchforks, barrels, wheels, cannonballs and even the littles folds themselves will come flying towards you at an ever increasingly rapid rate. So you have to think fast and react faster in Good Goliath, grabbing what you can and trying to hit as many enemies as possible. The throwing mechanics are well balanced enough so that even those with really poor throwing skills can hit something.
But this is the videogame in a nutshell. Catch and throw. The first few levels are entertaining enough as you get to grips with the mechanics but halfway through that repetitive feeling all wave-based titles get starts sinking in. There is a little variety here and there, the pirate levels allowing you to catch a cannon and then loading it with a shark offer humorous side notes alongside the baker who floats through levels holding a cake to replenish health.
What’s impressive about Good Goliath is the level of detail and polish Knocktwice Games has employed. Grab a villager or pirate and you’ll see them squirm in your hands, with nasty looking teeth and a face only a mother could love. The arenas themselves are also littered with secrets and stuff to break when you spot a moment in the carnage to use some ammo on the scenery. There’s always plenty going on so the completion of each level always feels like an achievement.
The best set pieces in Good Goliath are certainly the boss battles. Bosses are supposed to be big and these are huge, towering over your giant self. Going against foes like the Giant King or the Kraken-like sea monster actually offer a bit of a breather as you generally only need to worry about this one foe rather than loads of little ones.
When it comes down to it, Good Goliath is all about highscores and that’s what’s going to keep players coming back. Killing several enemies gains you a multiplier and making it through a stage quickly or having taken no damage gains bonus points. Plus you don’t like the normal hands there are others to unlock, swapping those digits for tentacles or some bony fingers.
There’s no doubt that Good Goliath is fun in short sharp intervals, drawing you in with its colourful designs and pick up ‘n’ play mechanics. Nine levels might not sound many but you should get a good few hours of gameplay as they are subdivided with checkpoints because of their length. This is rinse and repeat gaming so the gameplay isn’t exactly deep but it’s still mostly enjoyable, great for those looking to steer clear of RPG style titles.