Having your gaming roots in a game jam doesn’t always mean you’re going to be a throwaway title, SUPERHOT is testament to that, but most of these knocked together gaming gems aren’t meant to be deep and meaningful experiences. With Oh Sir…!! The Insult Simulator though, you’re promised the answer to the meaning of life, so long as you can throw putdowns out faster than a comedian in an arena full of hecklers. It’s time to get linguistically creative and take some (very heavy) inspiration from the Frenchmen in The Holy Grail.
Oh Sir…!! The Insult Simulator is actually a turn-based fighting game where you sling derogatory comments instead of punches at your opponent. By strategically selecting parts of phrases the idea is to construct the ultimate zinger and offend your sparring partner into submission. The pot of finite words is shared between you both, so thinking a couple of steps ahead is crucial to making sure you have something coherent… no one likes a babbling retort. Each round doesn’t necessarily give you enough options to make a high scoring phrase, so grabbing the choicest parts in the right order is the best strategy. Seeing as you’ve got someone else trying to do the same, winning becomes more about flexibility and knowing when to go with what you have, or hold it for the next round. There are a couple of random options available that can only be used by you, meaning there’s something in the bag that the other can’t see, and swigging some tea cleanses the mind and refreshes the options if you’re not enjoying what’s on display.
So, basically you’re creating grammatically correct sentences to knock off some health, where’s the fun in that? Well, it comes in the ridiculousness of the insult created, and in trying to build something that multi layered that targets the insecurities of the other character. It’s very Pythonesque, even down to the dead parrot pet shop scenario. There are no hardcore words or phrases in here, it’s quite family friendly on the whole, so once the witty riposte is ready, it’s satisfying to hear it come from clipped upper class British tones, or the bass heavy haunting vocal chords of H P Lovecraft. There’s a distinct Victorian gentleman’s club feeling to everything which lends a unique atmosphere and seems to enhance the comedic value and silliness of each situation. It’s a game that would go down perfectly accompanied by tea and scones.
Technically it all hangs together very well with the AI being just about as good as you are, and it’s rare it’ll throw out an insult that doesn’t make sense… well, at least as rare as you will do that. There’s no pausing as it thinks of what to do, but then there’s only 15 seconds to mull it over and select what you want, and it’s surprising how quickly that flies by. With 5 scenarios to take part in that give some structure to the reasoning for the insults, a tournament mode, single match options, secrets to find and open, and being able to do all this in couch competitive or online (with the option of cross-play) is pretty impressive. It’ll not keep you engaged forever, but it’s a fun spin on the fighting genre and has enough silliness to keep you smiling. If you’re missing the chance to get a good “your mother” jibe in, or you just want to learn some new ones for the schoolyard, Oh Sir…!! The Insult Simulator is for you.
A PS4 review copy of Oh Sir…!! The Insult Simulator was provided by the Vile Monarch PR team, and the game is available now on PC and PS4, and coming soon to Xbox One.