Insomniac Games is a household name in the gaming circle. From Spyro the Dragon to Ratchet and Clank, to the more recent Sunset Overdrive, Insomniac have been providing us with entertaining games for over a decade. One thing that Insomniac have not managed to do as of yet is to have one of their releases come to PC (still hoping for a Sunset Overdrive port). That all changes on April 20th, with the release of Slow Down, Bull.
Slow Down, Bull began as a design experiment performed by Designer Lisa Brown, who had a history of providing unique and creative ideas. Lisa often created fantastic mechanical ideas that just never quite made it into the final releases, so Insomniac decided to give her a chance to put some of her crazier ideas into a game. Lisa was given an assignment to come up with five unique game ideas, which eventually got cut down to the one she found most intriguing. This idea asked the question: “What if pressing a button made the action stop instead of making it go?”. Lisa then drafted a concept of a bull character, which you could stop by pressing a button. However, if the bull remained stationary for too long, he would become frustrated and begin to destroy everything in sight. Out of the ashes of this concept rose the beautiful and unique Slow Down, Bull. After allowing Lisa to work on the game solo for a while, it was decided it was best to increase the size of the team to five members, and they have managed to create what we will all be seeing on April 20th.
Slow Down, Bull is a simple game that puts players in the shoes of a perfectionist bull, Esteban, who decides that all he would like to do is to create beautiful art. The gameplay consists of stopping and steering Esteban, however excessive use of either of these mechanics results in him becoming stressed and risks him having a meltdown. In each level you aim to collect as many decorations as possible in the time provided while trying to manage Esteban’s stress levels and keeping him from going on a rampage and destroying all of the items you’ve collected. Slow Down, Bull is a simple concept, but a unique one at that. The game will feature five worlds, each with beautifully hand-drawn art to admire.
The most interesting aspect of the announcement of Slow Down, Bull lies in the fact that Insomniac have teamed up with Starlight Children’s Foundation, and are pledging to donate 50% of the net proceeds of Slow Down, Bull. If the game itself wasn’t enough to warrant your purchase, the fact that buying the game will go to provide entertainment and education for seriously ill children definitely makes it worth a look, at the least. I commend what Insomniac is doing, not only in terms of the donations, but for their willingness to allow their designers to challenge themselves to come up with creative and unique ideas, as well as providing a project in which some of the more unique ideas can be showcased. The passion of Slow Down, Bull is obvious when I look at the art and the design, and I frankly cannot wait to have a chance to get my hands on the game.
When Slow Down, Bull releases on April 20th, you can find it on Steam at this link.