Slow Down, Bull by Insomniac Games inc. is a game about a bull named Esteban who loves to make art and is looking for decorations for his art. The problem with Esteban the bull is that he gets stressed when collecting the decorations, thinking he’ll mess up. He gets less stressed by ramming walls repeatedly. His sister Mango, who is a cat, helps him by advising him and keeping track of how often he gets stressed. The biggest problem is that as he is gathering all the buttons and flowers for his art, there’s people carrying pots or glass that he could run into and lose everything he was carrying.
As you can probably tell from the opening paragraph, Slow Down, Bull does not take itself very seriously. The objective of the game is to gather as many decorations – or points – scattered across each level. Esteban is always running, you can turn clockwise, counter-clockwise, or boost, but all three of those increase how stressed Esteban gets. The only way to manage a bull’s stress is to continually ram them into walls, which causes him to bounce off and increases his speed. The entire concept is you shouldn’t need to turn him much to begin with.
Should you ignore this and try to do 180 degree turns when you miss a decoration, Esteban will rampage. You’ll lose all control of him as he runs around wildly, ramming into anything that happens to be nearby, almost guaranteeing that you will lose all the points you were currently collecting. Should you manage to get through an entire level without rampaging, you are given a small amount of bonus points to help encourage you on your stress free ways.
Like most games designed in a more casual style, the entire point of Slow Down, Bull is collecting points in each level. Collect enough points, and get one, two, or three Esteban buttons that determine rather or not you are allowed to move onto the next area or not. Slow Down, Bull keeps this arcade style mentality while slowly adding new mechanics in each new area. At one point there’s someone chasing you the entire time, who if she catches you will remove part of your timer. At another you can pick up your sister Mango, the cat. She hates being held, and if you hold onto her too long, she will remove all of your collected decorations, but will also jump onto anyone in your way and remove them from your path with righteous cat fury.
Slow Down, Bull is carried by the level design, keeping a constant mixture of larger open areas to have to guess where to bounce to gather everything, and tight corridors where small turns are needed just to prevent yourself from landing on top of obstacles. There is a childlike charm to every pore of Slow Down, Bull that carries itself in its presentation.
Which is why half of the proceeds going to Starlight Children’s Foundation almost makes sense to Slow Down, Bull. For 5.99 USD it is a game that carries a lot of heart and charm, with interesting mechanics that create a good game to play for a half hour each day just as a way to relief a little bit of stress from daily life.
Slow Down, Bull was obtained from Insomniac Games and reviewed on Steam.
A cute and colorful game that oozes with a childlike charm. While it won't be winning any awards, it is well designed and an enjoyable game to play for some stress relief