Insomniac Games, famous for their work on the Ratchet & Clank series and Sunset Overdrive, have released a new PC title, and it’s not quite what you would expect. The company’s new game, Slow Down, Bull, is a small game made by only a handful of developers that have been inspired by the indie scene. Though the game is small and is an experimental release, the gameplay is fun, and there is an exceptional amount of challenge present. It may not be the next big thing from Insomniac Games, but Slow Down, Bull is a delightful little PC game that is fun for gamers of all ages.
Slow Down, Bull isn’t only a charming game, it’s also a means of helping improve the lives and health of children and families around the world. Insomniac Games has partnered with the Starlight Children’s Foundation and will donate 50% of the net proceeds from Slow Down, Bull.
The game puts the player in the role of Esteban, an art-loving bull who can’t seem to control his temper. Esteban is easily enraged and destroys all that is set before him. Players are tasked with the goal of steering Esteban through a wide-range of stages in which you will collect different types of art supplies.
The core concept of Slow Down, Bull is easy to understand, but it has a nice amount of depth for those that commit to collecting everything and finishing a stage with 100% completion. There is a time-limit in place on stages, and you are ranked in accordance with the amount of art supplies you collect and if you successfully keep Esteban from raging and becoming exhausted.
The controls are simple, yet take time to master fully. Players don’t have complete control over Esteban as he is always in motion. Instead, players stop him and can then adjust the direction and speed in which Esteban moves by clicking down on the mouse. By holding down both buttons on the mouse, you give Esteban a slight boost in speed. However, you have to be careful to not hold down the mouse for too long when adjusting his direction or while giving him a speed boost.
Holding down on the mouse for too long will enrage Esteban and cause him to run frantically. When enraged, players lose control and cannot stop this raging bull until he tires out. Stages have puddles of water scattered about, and these will cool off Esteban and keep him from getting enraged and exhausted. Players can use these water pools strategically to plan when to use a boost.
The game’s difficulty does spike in the latter levels, so those looking to 100% the game will have their patience put to the test. The best way to be successful is by using well-timed boosts and advantageously bouncing off the stage boundaries to quickly collect art supplies.
Some gamers may be put off by the game’s visuals or basic concept, but those that give it a chance will find an enjoyable game. It has a nice sense of challenge as you need to figure out the best way to collect the art supplies within the time-limit, while keeping Esteban from becoming Jake LaMotta (a raging bull, if you don’t get the reference).
- Simple but rewarding gameplay
- Good amount of challenge
- Proceeds go to charity
- Difficulty spikes
(Editor’s Note: A review voucher was provided by the publisher prior to release for review purposes.)