Goat Simulator, a game that began as a game-jam experiment that turned into an internet sensation. Coffee Stain Studios had accidentally stumbles across something genius here. A game which seemed positively stupid and incomplete took the internet by storm with fans crying out for the game to be released, something that actually happened, and here’s my thoughts.
Goat Simulator is something that shouldn’t be taken seriously. It’s a game that lacks any structure and is filled with more bugs than the reptile feed section at your local pet store. But that’s what makes Goat Simulator so great, it’s so stupid, pointless, and buggy that the resulting gameplay will put a smile on anyone’s face – provided you have some imagination.
The videos I’ve seen of Goat Simulator, before I managed to get my hands on the game, made me want it more and more, the explosions, the bugs, and the other weird and wonderful activities available in the game looked truly hilarious. Playing the game myself however was a different story.
The game itself isn’t a bad one at all, but it does require the player to have some sort of imagination to fall into some of the hilarious scenarios that can be created, which thankfully isn’t too hard but you shouldn’t expect to press play and all of a sudden your limp, lifeless goat, has found himself wedged in between a wall.
That being said, there is plenty of stuff to do and after around half an hour you’ll discover all sorts of hidden gems and secrets dotted about the fairly large map you’re presented with. Throughout Goat Simulator a series of trophies have been hidden for you to find which sometime unlock skins for your goat, as well as other little ‘side missions’ such as the sacrifice area, the goat fight club, and the time trial mode. All of these activities are great, but the free-roam mode is probably where you’re going to have most of the fun.
Controlling your goat can be done either with a keyboard and mouse or with an Xbox controller if you have one set up on your PC. Personally the Xbox controller felt more natural than the keyboard and mouse as the game itself is heavily influenced by old-school skateboarding games, something which I used to live on as a kid.
The controls are simple too, one button for jump, one button to bleet, one button (or trigger) to headbutt, another to lick, and finally there’s a button for ragdoll mode and slow motion. Overall the controls felt natural and everything seemed to fit the game perfectly. That is unless you get your head stuck in a foot of concrete, then you’ll have to respawn.
If you’re the kind of person that needs objectives or a story to really enjoy a game then I’d steer clear of Goat Simulator. There ARE objectives and achievements, but they sometimes distract you from the random sandbox nature of the game and can make it feel a little boring when trying to achieve a target of over 100,000…
Dotted throughout the map is a ton of hidden gems such as a playable game of Flappy Goat, the Coffee Stain Studios studio, a jetpack, and a wearable baseball launcher. It’s things like this that not only make Goat Simulator absolutely hilarious, but also adds a sense of achievement to the chaos.
Coffee Stain Studios has also littered the mid-sized open map with a handful of seemingly unreachable targets, see that hand glider floating above, can you get it? What’s in that blue storage crate on the end of the crane? (trust, me you don’t want to know), here’s a weird ritual marking in the ground, bring sacrifices you say? Sure!
It’s the random nature of the game that make you question the way you’ve perceived many games in the past. Usually a hand glider floating around above would just be a part of the scenery, that storage crate being suspended in the air would just be ignored as it would usually be unreachable. But in Goat Simulator anything and everything can and most likely will happen either by your own actions or because of the way your floppy meatbag decided to fall.
Goat Simulator isn’t necessarily about being a goat either. Remember those trophies I mentioned earlier, well the skins they unlock aren’t necessarily skins, so much as an entirely new animal to play with, for example, the Tall Goat achievement will allow you to become a Giraffe.. And if you fancy venturing into the Steam Workshop you’ll discover many weird and wonderful Goat creations as well as the ability to be Shrek.
Despite the lack of clear objectives and the need for a decent imagination, Goat Simulator is a fantastic example of the amount of fun you can have if the developers didn’t bother sorting out various bugs within their game. I’m not suggesting that Sledgehammer Games goes down the same route for the next Call of Duty title, though that would be pretty hilarious, but it does go to show that perfection isn’t necessarily the way to go.
At the current price point Goat Simulator is a steal. At £6.99 you not only get one of the most funniest games I’ve ever played, but you get the whole Steam Community working together on more things to add to the game and Coffee Stain themselves supporting the game with more maps and local multiplayer.
If you’re feeling inclined, why not check out my first impressions here:
This review was written based on the PC version of Goat Simulator.