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Somewhere, deep within the walls of a prison that holds unreleased games, Escape Goat 2 is leaping from platform to platform, pushing crates in search for a way to escape. It seems that the game has finally found an exit, possibly due to the assistance of a teleporting rat, but probably because the game is finally finished. One way or another, Escape Goat 2 will finally taste the freedom its fans want for it so badly for it when the game releases later this month.

Ian Stocker, MagicalTimeBean mastermind and Escape Goat 2's warden, confirmed to me that the game will see the light of day on March 24.

"Goats are master escape artists (source: YouTube)," Stocker said. "And magic goats, aided by immortal mouse familiars, are even more skilled at overcoming confinement. But 2013 proved that an enclosure even more powerful than the sturdiest prison is the twisted labyrinth of game development, where escape always seems just two weeks away.... week after week.

"At long last, delay after delay, I can finally say it's ready to go. I'm really proud of how Escape Goat 2 turned out, and I hope you like it as much as we do."

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The original Escape Goat had a classic, late-1980s pixel-based style to it. The sequel received a snazzy new artstyle, which was illustrated and animated by hand by Randy O'Connor, who worked on Waking Mars.

"Fifteen months ago, I approached Randy with an idea for an Escape Goat sequel featuring hand-drawn artwork, as opposed to the 8-bit style of the first game. It was chartered as a quick, three-month 'game jam' style retreatment where we would just see how things looked, and get something to market quickly. But the more we added, the hungrier the project became. It was not satisfied being a simple graphical retreatment. It needed double the size and scope of the first game. It needed a map with branching pathways and secret passages. It needed a dozen new gadgets and powerups. Not to mention a custom-built lighting engine."

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This extra effort has led to the fully-fledged sequel we're getting. There are over 100 puzzle-filled rooms to play through set across ten different worlds, like the Woods of Duplicity, the Sequestered Library, and the Parish of the Necromouser. The soundtrack is mostly composed by Stocker himself, though a special guest track from Disasterpeace has found its way into the game as well.

Those who wish to prepare for Escape Goat 2's quickly-approaching March 24 release into the wild can preorder the game at the official website for $8, a full 20 percent off the normal $10 asking price. The Windows, Mac and Linux versions will all be available worldwide at launch through Steam, Good Old Games and the Humble Store.

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