Oh…Sir: The Insult Simulator – Review (PC, PS4, Switch)
“No matter what anyone tells you, words and Ideas can change the world.” These are the words famously stated by the late, great actor, Robin Williams, from the newly-appreciated movie, Dead Poets Society. The 1989 drama about an English teacher inspiring his class to seek their destinies uses a plethora of illustrious and descriptive language as the movie focuses on a group of young students in an elite boarding school.
It is an inspiring movie for themes of effective communication and how words interact with people in an ever-changing society. It’s easy to come away from the film knowing that words are beautiful, and could be used to connect as well as heal.
For polish-based gaming studio Vile Monarch and Texas-based publisher Good Shepard Entertainment, it’s a different story, as they take the beauty of words and turn those words into weapons. If someone were to tell you there was a fighting video game that exclusively uses words and sentences for battle, there’s a chance that you wouldn’t believe such a game exists.
However, it does and it is called Oh…Sir: The Insult Simulator. While I was skeptical at first about how a word-focused fighting game would work, my gameplay experience has had me convinced that Oh…Sir: The Insult Simulator is one of the finest fighting games around.
Words are universal tools. They can be used to build and used to destroy. They can make enemies into friends, friends into enemies, and some into frenemies. In school, we were all taught how to debate and how to argue, as well as how to reply with the best burn when approached with a “Yo Mamma!” joke.
Words can bring about world peace but words can also wage epic and fiery battles. In the world of Oh…Sir: The Insult Simulator, you are on the quest to be the meanest, but classiest person imaginable. You will face a diverse range of fighters, from royal women to God Himself. It’s a genuine silly setup, but one that feels refreshing in the sea of games that we have seen this year.
Where Oh…Sir: The Insult Simulator really stands out is its unique combat mechanics. Players will fight back with an assortment of words that are coupled together to form a strong insult. At the beginning of the round, you will have a quick hinting of your opponents’ emotional weakness.
Each opponent has a sensitivity that, should you exploit them, will allow you to deal massive damage. Some opponents hate being insulted for their clothes, or their smell, for example, so if a player were to construct an insult based upon either of those things, they could combine one or both insults into a devastating attack. Using these weaknesses are essential for achieving victory, especially in later battles.
Players fight each other in turn-based battles with a heightened pace. Between the two fighters is a series of sentence fragments. These fragments can be obtained by either you or your opponent, which means players will have to think fast to survive. Players will only have a certain amount of time to create an insult. They will choose a subject, a verb, and an adjective describing the action.
Players only have a few moments to conjure up a good insult. If that timer runs out and the sentence is incomplete, you will lose attack power. Creating a good insult as quickly as you can is one effective strategy, but to win, players need to be risky. You may be able to put a long string of insults together if you see a sentence with “and.” however, with the time against you, you run the risk of running out of time or creating an improper sentence with broken grammar.
Doing any of the latter will reduce your effectiveness against your opponent. Overall, the gameplay is a lot of fun and interesting, while still being an entertaining challenge. Players will have fun coming up with the best insult. I personally had more than a good laugh when playing this game.
Presentation-wise, the game sports a retro, 90’s inspired design. The main menu, in particular, is reminiscent of a screensaver and background from Windows 95 machines. The characters have a simplified animation and polygonal style to give the characters a caricature style. The animation and visual style works well to id in the game’s genuine silliness. The music also fits the mood of the game. Overall, this is a job of a game to play. For those fortunate enough to have a Nintendo Switch, this is a fantastic game on-the-go.
If there is any drawback, it is simply more material for combat. There are plenty of combinations to the insults, but I feel they repeat quite often. I can understand how difficult it is to make a game like this, however, as an R-Rated direction would leave limitless possibility but may alienate audiences for going too far. Keeping it in the spectrum of a “PG-13 like rating keeps things interesting and spicy, but there’s a good chance you will see the same types of insults repeated again.
Oh…Sir: The Insult Simulator stands as a game that takes an incredibly simple mechanic and reinvents it into something entirely new. In doing so, Vile Monarch has created an absolutely entertaining fighting game that will leave players laughing and enjoying themselves for hours on end. From it’s classy humor to distinct characters and absurdity, Ohh Sir…The Insult Simulator is the friendliest way to insult someone without getting into trouble.