Totes the Goat is an arcade like, puzzle-platformer developed by Atooi. Originally released 2015 for iOS devices, Totes was Atooi’s first foray into mobile development, and voxels. Totes takes heavily from the days of the arcade. Totes’ most obvious inspiration is Q*Bert. Atooi is well known for their quality, and their issues with keeping to release dates. I personally have a great relationship with one of the devs at Atooi, and I’ve spoken a bit to Jools myself. My biases might show a bit here, so I want to disclose that up-front. How does Totes stack up to Atooi’s best?
The goal of Totes the Goat is simple, as there is no story to be found. As Totes, all you can do is Jump, and you must jump on every block on that map before jumping down to another map. Each map is about 45-70 seconds in length if you maximize your time and movement. Very arcade in nature, but that isn’t a bad thing. The game doesn’t go for much, it attempts to hook you with its gameplay and then keep you wanting more of it.
Totes plays very much like Q*Bert. You can only take one hit before dying, but the game gives you 3 lives. If you get a death you feel is unfair, or just mess up, you have that to fall back on. As time goes on, enemies will fall down and move about. Each enemy moves in a unique way. Some will track you, one will jump two spaces instead of one, etc. Where these enemies go is random, and sometimes I would get horrible placements. Quite a few times I took note of the fact I couldn’t escape, or progress due to an enemy refusing to work with me. Coins and obstacles will also spawn in random placements. Obstacles can either be a wall you can’t move past, or spikes.
Totes the Goat does have a bit more to keep you coming back in the form of unlockable characters. There are 31 characters in Totes the Goat, and most of them are model swaps. Usually, each character costs 50 coins and changes what the blocks, and their “wall” obstacles look like. For the purposes of this review, I made my goal unlocking all of them. It is tedious, but there is something that made it less of a chore. Five of the characters in the game are other Atooi guest cameos. Rhode Island Smith, The Xeodrifter, Max, Granny, and Chicken Wiggle. When you’re playing as the Atooi cameos, you collect 5 coins for every single coin you grab. I would love to see a Soccer Slammer or 3rd party cameos added in an update. Maybe the Atooi staff themselves!
Totes the Goat’s presentation is very simplistic. It gets across what it needs to, and not much more. Music got on my nerves after a while of playing, but the sound effects weren’t too bad. The game was designed with voxels and a “blocky look” in mind. Some might think that looks cheap, I think it adds a charm. Voxels are the cheapest way of 3D development, and are basically a 3D “sprite”. They’re developed in the same way a pixel artist would draw a 2D character, but animated like a 3D rig. I personally love it!
Your enjoyment of Totes the Goat will very much hinge on your enjoyment of Q*Bert and arcade experiences. Some would argue that a mobile port from so many years ago shouldn’t cost money, I’d say they’re completely wrong. Even for me, $5 seems a bit steep if you think you’ll play this only a few times. If this looks like something you’ll get a few weeks of enjoyment out of, it is most definitely worth it. I loved Totes the Goat, and I think others would love it too.
A Switch review copy was purchased by the reviewer
supiroguy has awarded Totes the Goat The Indie Gamer Team Seal of Approval