Dreamy Goat ($0.99) by Arthur Lysenko is an unusual new side scrolling platform game that fits into its own category. It is less of a game and more of an exploration in art and music. Be prepared for a strange trip with this unique app.
Players control Goat, who is a goat. He has a horn like a unicorn and is a doodle. He runs atop a tiny world that is reminiscent of “The Little Prince.” As he travels, he collects various objects that may be candy, or headphones, or just strange items that he has dreamed up. Goat also pokes larger images like children playing, or sword-surfing spirits.
Goat moves on his own, but to collect or poke objects, tap the screen and he will hop. Hopping repetitively will make him fly through the air. Sometimes, you will discover new objects when Goat flies higher, but sometimes the fog will wake him up.
When one level ends, Goat hitches a ride to the next world on a whale that is rockin’ out to some heavy tunes. During the trip, players can earn extra points by tapping the screen and making the whale jump through the air, eating various objects as he goes.
There are seven different worlds and two modes of gameplay. To earn points, play “Solar.” In this mode, players are also subject to waking from the dream that Goat is having. I believe the abrupt awakening is due to lack of points being earned by a certain marker, but I can’t be sure because there is no information to explain the game’s rules.
In “Zen” mode, players are able to travel between worlds, exploring the beautiful and strange art and music without having to worry about the constraints of scores or waking up. Goat is free to roam and you are free to discover all of the interesting art that this app has to offer.
I wish this app included some information about how to play. It is unclear why Goat wakes up sometimes. There is one particular level where he would wake up over and over at the very beginning, no matter how many points I collected.
Additionally, the points seem almost silly in “Solar” mode. There are no achievements to earn or levels to unlock, so scoring is pointless. The replay value is low because nothing changes and points don’t matter.
Even though some parts of the game are unexplained and the point scoring system seems useless, this is an extraordinary game with a unique and beautiful design. Players can explore the artistic and musical worlds without worrying about the score, or play for points if competitiveness is relevant. The replay value is low, but the unusualness and surrealism of the game makes it worth the $0.99. Pick it up in the App Store if you are feeling trippy.