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Oh...Sir! The Insult Simulator (Switch) artwork

Oh...Sir! The Insult Simulator (Switch) review


"If I said your favorite Bond actor smells of your mother and plays hidden object games, would you hold it against me?"


Some part of me wishes Oh...Sir! The Insult Simulator were awful, so I could heap insults upon it and smirk over the irony of the situation. Alas, that's not the case. Gambitious put together a unique and enjoyable little party game, and even made it available on the Nintendo eShop for an extremely affordable $1.99 USD. Buying the title at that low price almost makes a person feel like he got away with something he shouldn't have.

The way the game works is that you choose one of the available characters and shepherd him or her through one or more exchanges with a rival or series of rivals, during which the two active participants in a given match choose from a variety of phrases and conjunctions in hopes of stringing together painful barbs to win the day. Funnier, more personalized and sometimes lengthier critiques tend to deal the most damage, but sometimes you are rewarded just for being weird, so the game is able to keep you on your toes for some time before the initial appeal wears thin.

Oh...Sir! The Insult Simulator (Switch) image

The verbal combatants must draw from the same pool of words, so there's definitely some strategy required. You might plan a real zinger that scolds your opponent for having a mother who has never watched Star Wars, but the AI might grab the bit about Star Wars before you can use it and then you'll be left to say she smells like something or other. Even worse, you might find yourself left with no possible way to extend your line, which can cause your entire insult to fall apart without inflicting damage as your avatar mumbles unconvincingly. That's a mistake you can't afford when dealing with a particularly alert rival.

There are further complications, which might even work in your favor. If a blistering putdown is about to fall apart, you can sometimes select the ellipses and keep it going into a second batch of supplied phrases. However, this "extension" can still dissolve to a stammer if your rival takes advantage of your temporary absence and strings together a particularly rude remark that leaves you flustered. You have to tread carefully, and a brief time limit at each step of the way ensures you can't think too long and hard before making your choices.

Oh...Sir! The Insult Simulator (Switch) image

Another factor to consider is tea. You know the stuff: you drink it when coffee isn't available and you want to mix something with your hot water. In Oh...Sir! The Insult Simulator, your characters start with two special words or phrases only they have available. If you don't like the choices, you can sip your tea a single time per round to select a couple of new ones. This technique is vital, because the right words could allow you to extend a phrase, sidestep apparent disaster or even cap off on insulting masterpiece (there's a certain thrill that comes from saying something absurdly rude and capping it off with a patronizing "sir").

The characters are well animated, by which I mean they look like cardboard cutouts manipulated by an invisible pupeteer, with exaggerated facial expressions and proportions that are accompanied by similarly outlandish voice acting. Expect stereotypical accents and basic illustrations that somehow seem perfectly suited for the juvenile exchanges, all given a touch of class that makes the whole experience all the more amusing. Unfortunately, it's difficult to access the whole crew, because you'll have to play through several multi-round tournaments to unlock a few of them, and others are hidden behind other non-obvious requirements.

Oh...Sir! The Insult Simulator (Switch) image

Despite its initial appeal, the process of assembling words into insults does eventually lose its luster, as well. You only have so many choices, both when it comes to targets for derision and where nuance is concerned. The setup is not entirely random, since a new batch of words always includes at least a few of each necessary type of piece, but sometimes it does feel like the game just didn't give you the options it should have.

Anyway, a lot of that is neither here nor there because Oh...Sir! The Insult Simulator shines most brightly when you play it as a party game with friends. Gather a few of your chums together, then let them take turns throwing insults back and forth. It all works beautifully, and almost seems better if the participants only have a general idea what they're even supposed to be doing. There's little likelihood of hurt feelings, too, because the exchanges are too silly to be taken all that seriously.

Oh...Sir! The Insult Simulator (Switch) image

Of course, some people don't have friends within easy reach. For those unfortunate souls, online play is provided. I checked the online scene to see what opponents I could find, and it took quite a long while before I was finally paired with someone. They were doing pretty good, it seemed, but then they left the match and I was automatically declared the winner before we had even finished assembling our thoughts. I'll take a win when I can get one, but that still felt rather hollow.

If you're looking for a different sort of experience on your Nintendo Switch, Oh...Sir! The Insult Simulator certainly fits the bill. Often humorous, mostly approachable, and quite affordable, the game will find its way into all sorts of collections if all is right in the world. Which we already know isn't the case. But still, buy this one if you own the system and can skip buying a coffee. Or, perhaps more appropriately, if you can skip a fancy tea drink...

4/5

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Staff review by Jason Venter (January 25, 2018)

Jason Venter has been playing games for 30 years, since discovering the Apple IIe version of Mario Bros. in his elementary school days. Now he writes about them, here at HonestGamers and also at other sites that agree to pay him for his words.

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