I'm not entirely sure how I feel about these two.

And they do, really, have to be reviewed together in this context. Because even though they're sold as distinct entities, Oh...Sir! The Insult Simulator and Oh...Sir! The Hollywood Roast are really two permutations of the same core gameplay loop, with a few tweaks. It's less like getting a game and a game 2: the sequel to a game, and more like looking at two different themed versions of a board game.

But to explain what I mean by that, first we have to explain the actual games. And the Oh...Sir! field is ultimately built upon a simple, core setup.

You know that insult dueling minigame from Monkey Island? What if someone expanded it, built a detailed point system around constructing insults from their component parts, and made the entire game that?

The whole game centers around, appropriately enough, the center. Right at the center of the gameplay screen, you see this string of phrases and keywords and stuff there? That's your core set of building blocks for your insult. And just like a deckbuilder game, you and your opponent are pulling from the same central field. So not only do you have to worry about what your insult is going to be, but you have to worry that the other whatever-you're-going-to-call-them is about to steal the piece that completes your insult!

Luckily, you have one key piece to give yourself some backup. You've got two extra components stored separately on the shoulder buttons, and in both versions of the game, you can once per round dump them and swap out for another pair. So long as you've got something that can lock in and at least make some grammatical sense, you always have some room to breathe.

But of course, this is a competitive game, a versus game, so room to breathe isn't good enough. No, you need room to conquer, to dominate, to insinuate things about your opponent's mother! Planning your insults is crucial, nearly as much as reading the field. And on top of that, there's learning the characters; much like a fighting game, every character in this has something they're particularly good at, and something they're terribly weak to. Maybe they take extra damage from their sense of style being insulted. Maybe they just can't handle crapping on their last movie. If you know it, or if you can find it based on the absurd caricature you're facing...You're in.

And did I mention the absurd caricatures? Because both iterations of the Oh...Sir! formula strongly rely on caricatures that feed into their sense of humor. The original, Oh...Sir! The Insult Generator is...deeply, deeply British to quite a potent extent, and as such, its jokes and absurdities tend to be based rather specifically within that field.

If you're looking for something slightly more American, or just outright openly silly, you'll find it over in Oh...Sir! The Hollywood Roast. Unsurprisingly, this one's based more on movie gags. Instead of a character riffing on British politicians, you have one cobbling together all the various Marvel heroes and their cliches. Instead of an old-timey British man behind the times, you've got...a strange, strange mashup of Dirty Harry and Harry Potter. You get the idea. The jokes, in turn, are riffing less on life in Britain, and more on Hollywood scandals and goofs.

The Hollywood Roast also brings in an extra mechanic against the baseline The Insult Generator; the comeback insult. Filling up like a super meter whenever you take damage, your comeback is a simple, straightforward finishing line that you can bolt onto any insult, so long as you have it ready to go. They're all very much in the vein of catchphrases, and give a certain extra amount of bonus damage, letting you go in for a nasty kill or beef up a weak hand into something that can hold its own.

That said...That, and an improved single-player "campaign" (really just a series of standard matches with some extra bonus objectives) are pretty much everything The Hollywood Roast does differently, in terms of mechanics. There's a reason I referenced the idea of differently-themed versions of the same boardgame back at the start of the review. In many ways, these are the same game.

Like, okay, let’s pin a concrete example to the whole thing. It's like having two different themes of Trivial Pursuit. You don't own that different themed version because it's going to give you a different gameplay loop. You own it because a deck of cards about Hollywood scandals will bring some more nights of fun, or amuse a different group of your friends, than the ones about historical events.

And really, this is the biggest problem with being handed both of these games at once. It's difficult to really separate them when they're pulling so firmly on the same core. There are some problems the games share, of course: some of the jokes don't read well outside of their intended audience, either coming off as mean-spirited or just plain not sticking the landing. And the voice lines are pretty clearly different readings bolted onto eachother, with the actors' tonation shifting up and down from component to component.

But quite frankly, I'm not sure how much else you could have done to fix either of those issues, given the very structure of the game. And sure, I could raise some questions about how the point system can sometimes mean you're playing more towards the designers' sense of humor than your friend's. But, really, that's kind of just the nature of the beast.

So at the end of the day, these are each fine games, and I could recommend either one...The trouble is, I can't recommend both. Not at the same time, at any rate. You gotta pick one and lean into it, and that's going to depend a lot on your individual sense of humor. Check our screenshots, look at some sample insults from both games, and see what tickles your fancy.