The idea of the comedy roast is one of the most sacred, and sometimes devastating, of a comic’s life. Getting them amongst a group of friends and getting everyone to tailor make personal insults for their fellow high profile comedians is a fantastic experience (even more so for those in the audience). The two new titles available on the Nintendo Switch – and yes they are two separately priced titles – titled Oh… Sir!! The Insult Simulator and Oh… Sir!! The Hollywood Roast are all about grabbing your friends together, choosing crazy avatars (with their own weak points), and stringing together crazy long and nonsensical insults. Does the game replicate the fame of the yearly Comedy Channel roasts, or is it closer to the drunken ramblings of the humble bar sledging?
The gameplay of both titles is relatively simple, pitting two comical characters against each other in a different location, starting off with a shared list of insulting sentence fragments or connective words and one by one characters extend insults for points. These points then show how much of the enemy’s health bar is depleted, and then the whole thing starts again until one player is knocked out (or too embarrassed to continue). Players have a few extra tools in their arsenal, in that they can choose from a very small selection of exclusive words or mini sentences for themselves, as well as a comeback meter and an exclamation point to end their insult.
However, as simple as the game is, one can’t hope but find the game quickly repetitive and sometimes frustrating – especially if playing with the computer. Sharing a randomised list of insults usually means that the best options are taken by the person playing first, leading to many situations where the second player needs to wait for new options while the other player is finishing up their own insult. And while avatars have their one hurtful insult, usually these aren’t worth that much or are easily stalled by smart players just taking the phrase first. I could imagine a tighter and funnier experience would entail people receiving their own lists and if they were both playing at the same time. The turn-based approach just leads to people knowing the insult before it’s read out in a weird monotone.
The design of both games is certainly eye catching though, and kept me coming back to see how other characters would react to the verbal bashing. With only a handful of characters and locations to unlock through the games single argument or tournament style approach, I did find the experience quite minimal in content. After half of dozen games one would get used to seeing the same insults come around, and players with knowledge of easily hurtful insults will be more equipped to fight those who are newcomers. Having had no opportunity to play a game online, I don’t know how the experience would change or whether the replayability level could be changed by fighting those more seasoned players.
The major point of difference between Insult Simulator and Hollywood Roast, and thereby which one your money should be dropped down on, is how much contextual humour works for you. The original insult simulation has a very strong Monty Python influence and doesn’t need extensive knowledge of character for powerful insults. They tend to be random characters on the whole, and it allows as a great starting point for players. However, as a massive film buff, Hollywood Roast appealed to me as there were more film relevant characters, such as an old Marylyn Munroe fighting a combo of Dirty Harry and Harry Potter (named Dirty Potter). It appealed more to me, and if I was going back to one, this is the game I’d choose.
Both Oh… Sir!! titles present some brief pockets of fun between mates. With fast paced gameplay and the potential for some hilarious insults in amongst those that don’t make sense, players could have some good mileage if it’s played in conjunction with other party games like the Jackbox Party Pack. Having two separate titles with pretty minimal gameplay spread between them does make this purchase hard to recommend though, and perhaps would be best to wait for a special that allows both to be bundled into one reasonable price. If you are looking for another title for gaming nights, you could certainly do worse, but don’t be surprised that if the night is made purely to play this game, the insults won’t stay in the game.
Oh… Sir!! The Insult Simulator – 45%
Oh… Sir!! The Hollywood Roast – 50%