Baby Goat Billy Early Access Preview/Review – Goat’s & Deckbuilders Mash Well in This Early in Development Title

Thank you so much to Studio 90 for providing a review code.

Baby Goat Billy is a new roguelite deckbuilder put together by one developer. The game is still in very early access therefore, my review will be much shorter than usual. I will also not be assigning any form of number rank or rating today. I do not want to give any final opinions as the game still has lots of growing before it becomes a finished product. That being said let’s talk about Baby Goat Billy.

Game Summary

  • Baby Goat Billy begins with, Billy a young goat who after returning home from a day of relaxation finds that his little brother has been goatnapped. A clan of rival goats took Billy to retaliate against your village. Now it’s up to you to venture across the game’s dungeons to find the evil tribe that took your brother.
  • The story as of now, has only given us a taste of what it’s going to offer. While traversing through each dungeon we get to learn a bit more about the lore of the world.
  • Studio 90 even states that the game is very centered around “Goat Mythology”. While there’s not a ton there yet, I look forward to seeing what direction they take the story. The monoliths in each dungeon do provide some bits of lore, however so make sure you seek them out.
  • Baby Goat Billy is a roguelite deckbuilder that’s played as a dungeon crawler with free movement. The game actually allows you to choose whether you want to move freely through each dungeon, or move on a grid based system.
  • Battles play out in typical deckbuilder fashion. Each turn you’re given a hand of 4 cards to choose from. Each card takes up one of your action points, that replenish each turn.
  • Cards are broken up into 4 categories. Wrath, Wisdom, Holy & Evil.
  • Wrath cards are attack focused cards that, do lots of damage and increase your power. Wisdom cards are all about blocking damage and defending. Holy is about healing, preventing status effects and giving buffs. Finally, evil cards are used for debuffing and hitting enemies with status effects.
  • After every battle you’ll be awarded a certain amount of experience and a new card to add to your deck. Experience gained is permanent, but any cards in your deck are lost upon losing a run.
  • When Billy levels up he can choose to level up in one of the 4 skill trees. The 4 skill trees coincide with their own card types and allow you to use higher level cards and give passive buffs.
  • Unlike many roguelites, Baby Goat Billy does not offer any sort of boss fights. You’re goal is to make it to the end of every dungeon, through any means necessary.
  • Because, movement is free the gameplay does offer a whole other layer of strategy. The second of the two available dungeons has spike traps and fire traps that you have to dodge. If you get hit by them you lose health. This adds a unique gameplay mechanic where you must always be aware of your surroundings, in and outsisde of combat.
  • While you’re traveling in a dungeon you can also run into events. There are canisters to find that give out gold and health potions, as well as monoliths that give you buffs for your run.
  • Enemies are displayed on the map as a purple mist. You won’t know what enemy you’re fighting until you start a battle. Some can be avoided, but others will block the path to the exit.
  • Before, you descend to the next floor of a dungeon you’ll need to find the key. The key to exit each floor is found in one of the aformentioned canisters.
  • As of now there are two dungeons, the first one being more of a beginner dungeon to learn the game’s mechanics. The second dungeonn, however will test you with tons of traps and much more difficult enemies.
  • There’s an element of strategy to Baby Goat Billy that makes me excited for what’s to come. One of the monsters I fought for example would attack twice whenever I attacked it. Eventually, when it changed its attacks to defending, this was when I had to strike avoid getting really hurt. You have to think through each one of your attacks, and also assure that your deck synergizes well with your strategy.
  • From a visual perspective Baby Goat Billy is an interesting title. For a game staring a young goat you wouldn’t expect such a dim and dreary setting. The design of all of the other goats are rough and the small village they live in is downtrodden.
  • All of the dungeons you visit are very realistic lacking any sort of color, and the enemies are very realistic looking. There’s no cutesy designs in Baby Goat Billy, just very ominous environments and dangerous creatures.
  • While one may think this art style doesn’t fit the game at all, I think it’s quite the opposite. I went into the game with an expectation of the visual design and I was completely surprised. I think going against the players expectations and using such a rough and realistic style, makes the game stand out.

Final Thoughts

Due to the fact that Baby Goat Billy is still in a very early access stage, for now, I won’t be giving it a final score. I enjoyed my time with the game, but as of now, it’s pretty short on content. I completed what the game had to offer in a little over an hour. Sure, I can go back and replay the levels, but there’s not a ton of appeal to doing that right now. That being said, I think Baby Goat Billy has a lot going for it and I’m excited to see what comes next for the game. Currently, the game is roughly $10 USD, and the dev has promised tons more content. I think it’s worth picking up now to try and get a feel for its since it’s not going to run you too much. However, if you’re not a fan of Early Access titles, I do recommend keeping Baby Goat Billy on your radar.

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