This is the way the world ends.
This is the way the world ends.
Not with a bang, but with a baaaa. -Not T.S. Eliot
When creating a game, developers must first ask themselves what kind of game they would make. Some go for the gritty, some for the cute, and others for the goat. The developers at Coffee Stain Studios have decided to go where few video game developers have gone before by intentionally creating a broken game for the sake of comedy. What I mean is they have given us the opportunity to finally be a goat jettisoning through the atmosphere, like most actual goats do, of course. If you’re still confused, Goat Simulator is essentially a physics-based game that allows you to simply be a goat and do goat things, like destroy everything in sight.
The concept is hilarious and bizarre, but is it worth actually looking into? Very much so.
On Goat Simulator‘s official site, you can even read a disclaimer from the developers themselves which reads “Goat Simulator is a small, broken and stupid game.” I could stop writing this review right here and leave you with that. But of course, the world has to know to what extent does small, broken, and stupid actually mean playable and enjoyable.
There really isn’t a whole lot going on here, nor does there need to be; you’re a fucking goat. The whole game takes place in a sandbox area roughly the size of a small town with various places to explore and maneuver about, trying to wreck as many things as possible in your path. Rather than being a simple toybox to drop you in, the game’s objectives appear in a scoring system and a slew of achievements and challenges for you to attempt with the game’s wild control scheme.
As a goat, naturally, you can walk, run, jump, baaa, bite, do a frontflip, and other goat-like activities, like hurtling yourself into a crowd people uncomfortable with their sexuality (seriously). As a physics-based game, you can expect the controls to be intentionally dodgy, but they’re much more accessible than games like Octodad. Navigating the town then becomes less of a chore and just moot as you’ll likely end up hit by a car and be hurled across the town, or you’ll ride a jetpack straight up into the sky to crash beyond the game’s boundaries. Yes, these are things that happened to me.
As I and the developers mentioned, Goat Simulator is intentionally broken. Fortunately, it’s definitely playable. There is a both a restart button and a respawn button in the event you get stuck or you feel like resetting your score and the town. Any realistic physics are pretty much thrown out the window to keep the game hilarious. Just as well, there are plenty of in-game jokes as well throughout the town and with the achievements themselves.
Ultimately, however, Goat Simulator ends up being what you make of it. Some people might not be satisfied with the lack of many locations to see, but others may spend hours trying to flip and flop that goat to get the highest scores and reach the highest heights. Like Octodad, pulling off wildly accurate stunts then feels supremely rewarding.
At its core, Goat Simulator is experimental and batshit crazy, but that’s what makes it great. I do wish there were more places and scenarios to explore. It feels like a lot of opportunities could be missed, but then the Steam Workshop comes to mind. You can probably soon expect a library of fan-made stages and challenges in the coming months and maybe even years.
At a price tag of $10, it’ll squeeze a good laugh out of you and challenge those willing to make something out of this lunacy, trying for the best possible scores, attempting the game’s most difficult stunts. Goat Simulator does boast an interesting soundtrack that changes up very nicely when you’ve got a combo going. Similarly, the various visual effects add a dose of realism mostly for added hilarity in the setting, rather than going for a picturesque atmosphere. Goat Simulator goes for the nonsensical and achieves it surprisingly more elegantly than you’d imagine.
It’s broken, but it’s not a mess for being a title that spits on the face of physics. It’s small, but there’s a lot to try to do and the Workshop feature will be sure to bring more content by the truckloads. It’s stupid, but it’s brilli– no, it really is stupid as hell. Still, you can tell a lot of love went into this project. Plus, you can be a goat.
[+Exaggerated physics are a riot][+Great sense of humor][+Plenty of achievements and challenges][+Great soundtrack][+Steam Workshop feature for fanmade content][+Intentionally broken, yet playable][+Toggle slow motion][-Not a whole lot to see][-Largely what you make of it, which may not appeal to some]