While playing Oh…Sir!! The Insult Simulator, I feel like I can understand what the game is going for. With its strong references to Monty Python as well as the ridiculous situations it sets up, Oh… Sir!! has some clever wit to it. Ultimately, however, the game is fairly shallow and does not stay fun to play over a long period of time.
Oh… Sir!! The Insult Simulator pits players against an opponent in a battle of words against a cast of bizarre characters in very strange scenarios. During an insult battle, you and your opponent take turns selecting words to build your insults. Once you have formed a sentence, you and your opponent trade verbal blows, dealing damage based on the words used. Because you and your opponent are taking words and phrases from the same pool, you may find that you don’t have any options to make a complete sentence. Luckily, each character has access to two words that only they can see. Some of these are unique to the character you have selected and you can also reshuffle them once a turn by taking a sip of tea. There is a nice sense of risk versus reward here: should you make a shorter sentence and guarantee to deal some damage or should you risk making a longer sentence and lose out on certain words because your opponent took them first? There is a feeling of anticipation watching the timer count down as you try to form a quick insult based on the words presented. This feeling is definitely increased when playing against a real person either online or in person. It is at these moments the game shines and is genuinely quite fun. Trading occasionally nonsensical digital barbs can be surprisingly compelling. Even with these options, there are still instances of your sentences just falling part because you got a bad reshuffle or the word pool provided just does not have enough conjunctions.
Each playable character has a unique look and voice. While they lack in distinct characterisation beyond this, they each have unique weaknesses to certain words. Mrs. Maggie, for example, will take extra damage if you include words about death and aging. It then becomes ideal when facing off against her to try and use phrases including these things. The words are randomly generated, so you will not always have the opportunity to do so.
The gameplay loop is incredibly simplistic but can be somewhat amusing. The referential insults are funny the first few times and some of the insults can be oddly elaborate. The novelty, however, wears off very fast, especially when you are playing single player. After a short while, I found that the same insult combinations were most effective and that some of the higher scoring ones made little sense as a sentence. Grammatically they were passable, but the combination of words did not work. This was troubling as it seemed the best way to win in some cases was to make the game less funny and spontaneous.
The art style of the game is quite bizarre but fits the absurdity of the game. Each character looks like a hideous caricature designed to be immediately distinct from one another. They even have amusing biographies to give them a bit of personality. Sadly this personality is all but lost in the game. As stated earlier, they each have their weaknesses and their unique phrases, but these phrases are rare and do little to make each of them actually feel different in any way. While their voices are different (H. P. Lovecraft’s being my favorite), they end up saying the same thing each character does with the occasional unique phrase. The characters themselves only have a few frames of animation and the backgrounds themselves while colorful feel stark. After about an hour and a half, I felt like I had seen everything the game had to offer visually.
While this game has many flaws, it is hard to ignore its incredibly low price tag. In most cases, I would not even bring this up, but because te game is quite inexpensive it is worth noting. At $2.99 it is easy to see myself having a fun couple of hours with some friends playing locally. Exchanging barbs in the game while doing so in real life can be quite amusing in short bursts. Even in these scenarios, the novelty of the game’s mechanics can start to become less engaging as I keep playing.
Developer Vile Monarch made an interesting game with some fun references and a surprising amount of humor. Unfortunately, mastering the mechanics and winning matches sometimes leads to the game being less engaging and being less creative. Once you start to know exactly which words to use to start winning, the game is less interesting. This is somewhat alleviated when playing with others online or locally but even then, I felt the game was less fun the more I played. As it is, I have a hard time recommending Oh… Sir!! The Insult Simulator. If you don’t mind dropping three bucks for a few good laughs with some friends then this game is a good choice. Otherwise, there is not much to do in this game.