Imp or Oaf?

Rating: 4+

Imp or Oaf? is a game from Gilded Skull Games, originally released 24th November, 2009


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Cheap Shot: Imp or Oaf

Imp or Oaf may genuinely be the finest game ever produced on the subject of classifying ugly people as a specific type of ugly person. If you’ve ever said to yourself, “I want to be able to ruthlessly classify weird-looking people,” but have been constantly frustrated by your lack of video gaming options, your search ends today.

In Imp or Oaf the player is shown a series of pictures of cartoon characters that are either an “Imp” or an “Oaf”. It’s your job to guess which. At first the camera is very zoomed in, and it’s difficult to decipher what you’re looking at. But by tapping the screen, the camera zooms out and you can get a better view of the full creature. Doing this deducts from your score, though, so the goal is to correctly identify the “Imp or Oaf” while zooming out as little as possible.

So which is it, punk?

It’s about as simple a game as could possibly be made, but there are a number of little touches that make it a little more of a full package. The art style, to begin with, is a very good fit for the subject. All of the characters are pretty absurd, so you’ll never feel too much like you’re insulting real people. And beyond that, it’s just a very fun, silly visual aesthetic.

The music as well is wonderful. There’s even a custom song made for this game that plays during the tutorial that explains how to play the game. Several times we actually went back to the help screen just to listen to the song.

It’s far from complex, but it’s fun for what it is.

Imp or Oaf Hands-On Preview

Gilded Skull Games, the developer also behind the dice battling game Galactic Keep, recently sent us an early build of their upcoming picture identification game, Imp or Oaf. So far it’s turning out to be a concept unlike any other we have seen, in which there is only one question: is it an itty-bitty Imp or a great big Oaf?

The game is extremely simple. You are given a picture and must decide whether the creature in the picture is an Imp or an Oaf. You can choose between 10, 20, or 50 rounds, depending on the amount of time you have to commit to the game.

Half of the fun in Imp or Oaf is figuring out what exactly makes the pictured character one of the species. In our build we went into the game with no previous knowledge, but Gilded Skull has provided us with a screenshot from a later build that gives an example of an Imp or Oaf.

When you are first given a picture, you can only see a zoomed-in portion of it. If that’s enough for you to make an educated guess, you’ll be awarded a large amount of points. However, many times you’ll need to tap the screen to zoom out more. This depletes your points but will give you a better shot at getting the question right.

One of Imp or Oaf’s strongest points is its unique art style. The hand-drawn pictures are very vibrant and lovable, emanating an extreme level of charm. Much like Galactic Keep, there are little nuances that show Gilded Skull’s attention to graphical detail.

The background music and audio is a big plus as well. Not only does it fit well with the style, but little comments when you touch the Imp and Oaf buttons made us giggle every time. We admittedly opened up the app a few times to simply go to the help screen, where you are sung a little ditty explaining how to play the game. This is one game you do not want to have on mute.

In our build of the game, there were no functioning local high scores, but Gilded Skull President Rob Lemon said that this would be changed in the submitted build. There is no confirmation of online scoring at this time, but we hope the feature is added.

There is no set submission date at this time, but from the look of things we can’t imagine it being too far off. We think that this could be a fan favorite once it launches on the App Store. In the meantime, we encourage you to check out the game’s twitter, @imporoaf, where what we assume are the main Imp and Oaf are going on comical daily adventures.