2016 is turning into quite a packed year of indie game bliss for those looking for alternatives to AAA madness and yearly franchise games trying to recapture old glories long since past. One of my personal favorite indies is Whalebox Studios’ survival/action/RPG, Goliath (out on Steam tomorrow). A bit of time with the demo reveals its an intriguing, vastly fun to play mix of gameplay that should please fans of everything from Minecraft, Armored Core, Pacific Rim and a bunch of other influences that popped into my pointy head as I played. There’s a nicely cartoon aesthetic to the visuals that may initially fool you into thinking the game is a casual sort of fluff game. But my, isn’t it funny how visuals aren’t the big selling point when gameplay is tight and challenging, kids? Yeah, I thought you’d agree.
Anyway, the game’s focus on building and maintaining your Goliath is obviously key to the game, so it’s a benefit that it doesn’t take long before you get your first one built. You play as the a human survivor of a plane crash who ends up in a strange world where different factions are vying for some sort of superiority (as usual). However, with gigantic monsters stomping around in the wilds, let’s just say it’s not safe out there. Your character initially is stuck in the middle of nowhere after the plane wreck, but a radio call from a fellow survivor spurs him on to stay alive and find a means of making it out of that procedurally generated forest map. Your first (but not last) Goliath is a wooden one, but it’s no mere faux Tobanga you’ll be piloting. Nope, your modular mahogany mech is pretty sturdy and can take a bit of a whacking up to a point. As long as you’re near a source of wood or have the materials in your inventory, repairs are a cinch.
That said, it’s not indestructible and neither is your character. Stray too far away while out poking around on a side quest and the wee and not-so wee beasties that inhabit the area will make short work of you. Thankfully the isometric view lets you see far enough ahead and around that you’ll be able to scoot away from trouble or fight it if you prefer. The game also promises stone, metal and other materials to mess around with, multiple environment types, meeting up with some of the aforementioned factions and more. more, MORE. Co-op and multiplayer wasn’t available in the demo (or at least I didn’t go looking for people to play with because I was having so much fun in the story mode), but the game promises both in the final release. Nope, this isn’t a full review at all, but I can’t recommend Goliath enough if you’re a fan of games where you get to build and beat up stuff with purpose. Go get it before it comes to get you, I say. You won’t be disappointed at all. Well, even if you are for some reason, the folks who made the game can probably beat up any Goliath you make with one they make.