Death Goat
Developed by Nocturnal Studio
Released on March 27th 2013
Sold on XBLIG for 240 MSP
Review details
Reviewed on May 5th 2013 by Martin Caine
First impressions
The box art for the the game is pretty cool, obviously professional, though the choice of font almost makes the title look like it says Death Coat (to me at least).

The menu system is very impressive. Nice use of art and music right from launching the game up. The options on the menu when selecting level and character also make it pretty clear as to what is contained in the full game, having only the first character and level unlocked in the trial.
Trial experience
Starting a game, you're immediately dropped in to the action, this is a twin stick shooter with amazingly detailed environments and enemies which begin attacking me straight away.

The music in the game is taken from a selection of heavy metal bands (which is definitely to my liking) and I think suits this kind of demonic themed shooter. The controls work beautifully and I find myself blasting away and avoiding enemies with ease. That's really saying something since I don't play twin stick shooters and often find myself dead after the first few waves of enemies.

The number of unique looking enemies even in the short trial is rather impressive and does make you wonder just how much more there is to this game. I also managed to pick up quite a few weapon modifiers and played with their various shooting modes.

Then, all of a sudden, after shooting a few screens of enemies a prompt pops up on the screen saying that's the end of the trial, if you want to continue you have to buy the full version. Personally I felt this prompt to be rather abrupt, it literally just pops straight up while playing with no transition or effect and it's full of text, it's quite an intimidating screen. I was a little shocked at how quickly the prompt had come up. I was only a couple of minutes in to the trial and didn't get to experience much of that first level.

So I went back to the main menu and started the level again. Second time around it was pretty much the same but I reached the buy-screen even quicker this time. I decided to stop recording here, this is the first trial I've manually quit out of rather than playing until the 8 minute time limit was up.
Overall thoughts
The production quality in Death Goat is far higher than what is generally expected of a game on XBLIG. The game reminds me of one of my favourite old-school shooter games, Mage Slayer, which has a very similar theme and view but was more level based than arena based.

The whole experience from start-up to menus to gameplay is excellent and the animation and art on the levels and enemies is some of the best I've seen in an Indie Game (on XBLIG or any other platform).

As a trial however I feel the very limited play-time given just isn't enough to properly show how good the game is. I got roughly a minute of actual gameplay before being prompted to buy the game. Personally I believe if the player was allowed to play the first level until the trial time ended then they'd be in a much more likely position to want to go and buy the full game to experience the other levels and characters.