(Don’t) Keep Goolin, Goolin, Goolin, Goolin

Fuck Goolin.

Sorry, I lost my composure for a moment there.

What I meant to say was Goolin is a– fuck Goolin in the face.

To its credit, Goolin does things that I’ve never experienced in any other game. It scores a few points for that. Unfortunately it loses all those points and more by being so devoid of all fun that it would have to go for in vitro funtilisation, or even buy a questionable batch of lab-grown test tube fun on the black market. Unusual ideas are all well and good, but what’s the point if the game is less enjoyable than slamming your own head in a pub door? While drinking Bud Light. Yes, Bud Light.

In fact, ‘what’s the point?’ is a good all-round sentiment for the experience of playing Goolin. It’s not an abrasively horrible ordeal like Who’s the Daddy?, a non-functional demo like Bit Crunch or a sob-wrenchingly unplayable sedative like Old School Destruction. It’s just…there, doing nothing, going nowhere, leering smugly at everyone as it slumps in its absinthe-soaked armchair in the corner, its head cocooned in cloying strands of roll-up smoke, B.O. and flatulence. It’s a pretentious, arty waste of space that studied Avant Garde Journalism With Interpretive Dance for seven years of resits before dropping out to live in a permanent bong haze in its friend’s cousin’s neighbour’s uncle’s squat.

Goolin is a dick.

Try not to be too intimidated by its awesome presentation.

I suppose you want to know why. Alright. Allow me to walk you through playing Goolin.

‘Press A’, the game informs you. Poised with your thumb over the little green nub, you wait. A large headless robot appears, and an acrobat runs at its feet. You press A. The acrobat leaps. You fail. Restart. Press A. Fail. Press A. Fail.

Try to time your press so that the acrobat will land in the robot. Fail. Fail fail fail.

Experiment. Press A, then press it again once airborn. The acrobat descends towards a capsule on the other side of the screen. Feel satisfied that you figured it out…fail. Do it again and again, and fail fail fail.

This is Goolin. You have no idea what your objective is, how to go about attempting it, or what pressing A actually does. By chance, I read a review that mentioned the key: it’s all about the number of times you press A. There’s no way of knowing what that number is; you just have to launch your acrobat into the air, try to get him on target (no mean feat in itself) and press A at random. If it fails, try again with more presses. Unless you miss the capsule’s vicinity entirely, as you probably will.

Looks pretty similar to the last pic, right? Yeah, it's just that good.

When you do, through sheer luck, land the acrobat in the capsule, it will immediately fly up towards the top of the robot…and the stupid ‘press A’ game enters round two.

It’s intolerable, but the worst part is the way the game comports itself makes it clear that it thinks it’s really clever. I could send it on its way with only a disapproving frown if it was an innocent. But it’s too knowing; too smug. Goolin thinks it’s art or an innovative, mould-breaking indie gem. It reality it’s a marginally innovative, patience-breaking heap of balls.

Damn you, Goolin. How many times do I have to press A to somersault you out of my life entirely?

6 comments on “(Don’t) Keep Goolin, Goolin, Goolin, Goolin

  1. I suppose the one good thing you can say about Goolin is that it is memorable. I can unequivocally say that Goolin will stay with me for the rest of my days. It sits there on the marketplace, taunting me, basking in its existence like some xblig anti-christ, if such things can exist. I’ve never played Atari’s E.T., and while I’ve seen and heard the stories, I’m almost positive I’d rather play that, stuck in a pit I can’t get out of, than ever see screenshots of this game again. I applaud the review, but these words are wasted in describing it. Fuck Goolin is right.

    • Ha! Goolin seems to be your personal nemesis. I’m not sure I hate it more than House of Cockroach though.

      • I look at it like this; everyone is uniquely suited for something in this world. I, for whatever reason, have to ward people away from the danger that is Goolin. I have not played HoC or HoS, although even with reading your reviews, knowing well ahead of time that they will suck, I can still say Goolin is worse. It has to be.

        Although this all has given me an idea. A review for Goolin may be in the cards for me at some point, and if it is, it’s going to be a unique take on it.

  2. […] ever played. If by ‘best’ you mean ‘not quite worst’. (Which reminds me: fuck Goolin.) Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This entry was posted […]

  3. […] to. I’ve tried talking him out of it, stressing the danger of prolonged exposure, something he’s well aware of already, but to no avail. What we’re left with is a exercise in futility, a chance to laugh at […]

  4. […] to beat the risible indie travesty Goolin on video. He knew what he was getting into, having reviewed the game himself, but the theory is that it must be possible to finish Goolin, and if the game’s completion is […]

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