Claws-on Preview: Imp or Oaf?

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Many people were hoping that the first game to come out from Gilded Skull Games would be Galactic Keep, an impressive looking pen-and-paper RPG emulator. But that game is still in development, and in the meantime, they’ll be releasing their first game called Imp or Oaf?. I got the chance to sit down with the beta version of this game, and played it on and off with my 5-year-old son, and I’m here to give you my impressions.

The premise is fairly simple: you’re supposed to decide if the character on your screen is an Imp or an Oaf. When describing those characteristics to my son, I told him an Imp would be a trickster and an Oaf would be kind of goofy. You then have to use your own deductive reasoning to figure out which one of those two best fits the character in the picture.

Oh, there’s one more thing – you’re not actually shown the whole picture of the character. You’ll be zoomed in to a particular spot on the picture at the start of each round. Then, you decide to either click the button and choose if it’s an Imp or Oaf, or you can tap the picture on the screen to have it zoom to another spot on the picture. While that might help you by revealing more of the character and improving your odds of guessing correctly, you also lose potential points with each zoom (starting at 100 points, and decreasing by 10 for each zoom). And once you reach zero, your turn at guessing that character is over.

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In the beta build you can play 10, 20, or 50 round games. At the end, you’ll be given your score – there are plans for an online scoring system so you can strive to be the greatest Oaf of all time.

Really it’s a very cute game. My son really enjoyed playing it, and wanted to keep going after each game was over. He gladly counted each round, and his score at the end. It’s the kind of game that is great for young kids: simple to play and easy to understand. The artwork is just amazing – it’s got a style all its own and really helps it stand apart from the crowd. I did have some suggestions to give back to the developer, mostly based on how my son was playing and what he seemed to want the game to do. And of course, there are still some unfinished things in the game – like highscoring – but it actually plays very well and I had no major issues with the beta. In all, both my son and I enjoyed playing Imp or Oaf?, and I’ll be looking forward to reviewing it when it comes out.

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