Developer: Vile Monarch
Publisher: Good Shepherd Entertainment
Release Date: 19/01/2018
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch (Reviewed), PC, Mac, Linux, Mobile Devices
I really appreciate it when a game isn’t afraid to try to do something new, especially when that fresh idea just so happens to be utterly bizarre too. We’ve seen plenty of independent developers throw conventional ideas out of the window in order to release something that’s incredibly unique and its often made for some great gameplay experiences.
It’s why Oh…Sir! The Insult Simulator and its spin-off Oh…Sir! The Hollywood Roast both appealed to me so much. These are games where you don’t win by beating up or shooting down your opponent, but instead by berating them with words. This isn’t Words with Friends though; you’ve got to come up with the most ridiculous and cutting insults in order to hit those high scores and deal massive damage to your opponent’s… uh… ego?
So getting into a battle of insults might seem unusual, but it actually works quite well. You’re given a list of words or phrases and take it in turns with your opponent to choose one, with each word or phrase chosen then forming your insult. Your insult will then get scored and you’ll deal damage to your opponent based upon how good your insult was. It’s worth noting that your insults don’t always have to make sense or be funny mind, with the game often just taking things like structure into consideration when judging how cutting your tongue (or thumbs) has been – it was strange, but it ensures you’re never in too much trouble if stuck with somewhat meaningless words to choose between.
Of course, there’s a bit more depth to each game other than just putting words together. Each opponent will have different weaknesses to take advantage of for example, with insults directed at those weaknesses pulling in extra points. This might be something as simple as criticising someone’s choice of fashion, or (more brutally) their age. Once you figure out a character’s weakness, you can really dish out some serious damage with the right selection of words.
There’re also extra points to earn by putting together combos by reusing words across multiple insults, whilst you can also use ellipsis to keep an insult growing between rounds in order to put together an enormously vicious put down for maximum damage. There are plenty of different ways in which you can keep your score growing and your opponent’s ego dropping, and it’s learning how to take advantage of these that will earn you the most success in-game.
There’s certainly a fair bit more depth to the gameplay than it might initially seem, with things like the combos and weaknesses proving vital in winning a war of words. Still, some of these features add a sense of predictability to the game too; once you figure out a character’s weakness, you’re always going to want to cater your insults to take advantage of it. I mean, you don’t HAVE to, but you won’t be able to help yourself if you want to win.
In honesty though, whilst there’s a certain degree of depth to the games, they still aren’t really intricate enough to encourage gamers to plough hours into them. Insult wars slowly start to feel the same and once you’ve seen everything a character has to offer, you won’t be too interested in taking them on time and time again. It doesn’t mean that Oh…Sir! The Insult Simulator and Oh…Sir! The Hollywood Roast are boring games though because they’re a lot of fun – it’s just that fun doesn’t last too long, with both games feeling a bit repetitive after a few hours of playing.
At least they look good though, with an impressive selection of well-designed characters to play as and backdrops to battle across. One thing I really appreciated was Oh…Sir! The Hollywood Roast’s use of pop-culture with its roster of characters – you’ll notice characters based upon the likes of Harry Potter, Gandalf, Deadpool, and even Marilyn Monroe in the mix. No matter which game you’re playing though, the distinct art style always shines.
Out of the two, Oh…Sir! The Hollywood Roast is easily the better game. It has more interesting characters, a lot more insults, a meatier feel to its single player mode, and even a few extra features (including the Comebacks which allow you to get revenge with a brutal takedown). Not much changes between the two as far as the core gameplay experience is concerned, but it’s easy to see that Oh…Sir! The Hollywood Roast is the bulkier and more polished title.
Both games include multiplayer options though, which allow you to play the game either in local showdowns against your friends or in online mode against complete strangers. The local play really compliments the Switch’s accessible multiplayer options, whilst the somewhat simplistic nature of the game makes it easy for just about anyone to pick up and play. I mean, we can all come up with a meaty insult, right? Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the sort of experience where you’re going to get completely hooked into its multiplayer modes, but they’re certainly fun to dabble in it a bit and you’ll certainly get plenty of laughs from the absurdity of the whole thing.
Both Oh…Sir! The Insult Simulator and Oh…Sir! The Hollywood Roast are available for cheap on the Nintendo Switch, which works massively in both games’ favour. I would never recommend paying too high a price for the games because they simply don’t have enough depth to them to really keep you hooked in for a long time, but the fact you can get Oh…Sir! The Insult Simulator for just £1.99 and Oh…Sir! The Hollywood Roast for £2.99 actually makes them both a nice little investment.
Oh…Sir! The Insult Simulator and Oh…Sir! The Hollywood Roast are both unique and enjoyable little games, but neither will keep you hooked in too long. Whilst there’s no denying that it’s fun to unleash scathing insults on the AI or your friends around you, everything just starts to feel very repetitive after a few hours play. The insults don’t always have to make sense either, which works from a gameplay perspective but will leave you a little baffled on occasions.
Still, the unique concept behind both games and the low price points make them easy titles to justify purchasing. If I’m being honest, I’d actually recommend giving them a try just to see how fun the insult-spewing experience can be – if you’re going to purchase just one though, make sure it’s Oh…Sir! The Hollywood Roast.