The old adage of tongue being mightier than swords is rarely true for video games. With interactive entertainment, blades, bullets, and bare hands routinely get the emphasis, while words are habitually reserved for expositional purposes. But with Oh, Sir! The Insult Simulator, fists and firearms take a well-deserved holiday, as players take turns trading verbal attacks. Although most players will probably only exchange barbs for a few hours, the game’s extremely affordable price makes this imaginative oral dual worthy of a pickup.
After downloading the 407 megabyte game, players are ushered toward into a main menu that extends a tutorial, a single player component, as well as offering for both online and local showdowns. Venturing into the The Insult Simulator’s interactive lessons imparts two trainings: the basics and well as several advanced techniques. But largely, you’ll have to learn the rudiments of verbal sparring through hands-on amidst competitive matches, belittling either bots or real-world big-mouths.
After selecting from one of five different avatars, as well as a venue for your contest, both opponents begin the bout with two full health bars. Utilizing a turn-based approach, you and your rival select phrases from a bank in the middle of the screen. Essentially, you’ll be constructing an insult from these words, with lapses any lapses in grammar or incomplete sentences penalizing the player.
Much of the tension stems from the use of a shared word bank. As such, The Insult Simulator incorporates both offensive and defensive strategies. While you’re trying to build the best taunt possible, you’ll simultaneously want to unsettle your challenger by employing phrases that they might use. Pleasingly, there are two phrases that aren’t shared, and by opting for a cup of tea during your turn, you’ll gain two new expressions at random.
Unsurprisingly, there are a number of nuances to the spoken sparring match. Bonuses are given for riffing on the same topic, giving risk-embracing players an opportunity for a combo multiplier. You can also elect to use ellipses to postpone the submission of your snub, electing to create a compound sentence that just might devastate your opponent’s sense of well-being.
One of rewards of The Insult Simulator is hearing your avatar articulate their sentence, typically delivered in a regional English accent. But all too often, the game incentivizes sentence mechanics rather that clever wit. String together a nonsensical but grammatically correct smear and you’ll decimate your opponent, but often the insult isn’t particularly witty. And when you do create a burn that’s comical, if your insult isn’t very long you won’t earn many points. Sadly, the game’s battle of wits is often won via composition rather than sheer creativity, which is a little disappointing. Stick with it, and you’ll discover that different rivals have weaknesses, and if you’re able to incorporate the topic into the insult, you’ll gain the upper hand.
Although the game probably won’t captivate players for long durations, The Insult Simulator is surprisingly fun in short bursts, especially with another player. Gradually, you’ll unlock new playable characters which bring their own distinctive approach to the proceedings, giving the game enough content for at least four hours of spirited disparaging. Given the game’s two-dollar price tag and playful attitude, The Insult Simulator is a welcome addition to the Switch’s growing library.
For less than five dollars, you can also pick up the game along with the sequel/spinoff, Oh, Sir! The Hollywood Roast. With caricatures of famous celebrities, an increased amount of dialog, and humor that runs just a bit more risqué (with phrases like “Mark Wahlberg’s rubber trouser hog”), the follow-up builds on the original game’s basic blueprint, while making several noteworthy additions. This time out, matches have multiple goals, urging completionists to humiliate their rivals repeatedly. A comeback meter gradually builds, and once it reaches a preset threshold, you can punctuate your insult with pride-punishing zinger. Although The Hollywood Roast doesn’t make it radically changes, a three-dollar purchase price means the standalone game is cheaper that most DLC.
Oh, Sir! The Insult Simulator and Oh, Sir! The Hollywood Roast
were reviewed on the Switch with codes provided by the publisher.