What is Goat Simulator? Is it even a game? Or a sandbox physics simulator? What’s the story? I’m confused.
Title: Goat Simulator
Developer: Coffee Stain Studios (Double Eleven – 360 and One)
Platform: Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, Xbox 360 & One
Reviewed on: Xbox One
Is it fun to play?
Is it funny?
Well then what is it?
Ummm . . .
Goat Simulator, at its most primitive, is an open-world, third-person perspective action game. Similar to Tony Hawk skateboarding games, you’re dropped into an open area, with notable key areas, and then given the task of creating your own fun through experimentation.
Major deviation, is you are a goat, aimed at doing as much damage as possible in this world, without any larger goals or aspirations.
Initially developed at Coffee Stains Studio as a joke prototype during an internal game jam and shown off on YouTube, Goat Simulator started to gain traction and excitement just from the ridiculousness of it all. Due to the popularity of the YouTube videos, the studio was prompted to build the game out to a state where it could be released as a stand-alone. Obviously the game was buggy in alpha, and a lot of these bugs added to the humour and entertainment, so they were retained in the release product.
Most notably of these bugs or glitches is the goat’s head and neck. It is very floppy and gets caught on objects easily, sometimes to the point where it doesn’t seem attached to the body anymore.
The game was originally released on Steam, to the community, and was received pretty well; some praising the title for its originality and its humourous sandbox mode, others criticizing it as a simple, buggy product that somehow became popular through social media. Coffee Stains Studio isn’t complaining though, as it made back its development budget within hours of the game’s release, and saw more success than some of its other, non-accidental, titles.
YOU PLAY A GOAT, OBVIOUSLY
Going back to the game itself, you play a goat, obviously. You spawn in an open-ended suburban setting, and left to explore, jump, run, headbutt things, and lick objects. Licking objects will attach the goat’s tongue to said object, and lets you drag the object around.
The game also supports a ragdoll mode and slow-motion mode. At any time the player can drop the goat into ragdoll mode which allows the physics engine to take over. Slow-motion, obviously makes the game mode slower and allows more finesse while doing tricks, or more time to laugh as the physics engine does what it does best.
And the suburban environment we’re placed in allows the goat to pull off tricks or stunts – similar to a skating game – with chaining tricks together for added points. We have trampolines, mattresses and industrial fans to jump off, walls to run up, or fences to crash through. Some of the in-game goals are displayed as a checklist, meant as a type of progress report for the player throughout the game. These include destroying certain objects, or completing flips, or even doing a “manual” – walking on the goat’s front lets for a specific distance.
The collectibles scattered throughout the game, when collected, will allow certain modifiers to the goat, such as playing as a demon goat, or a giraffe (long-necked goat), or even an ostrich.
The game is very good at poking fun at itself, while also including a lot of winks to pop culture references, and other games. Even the original trailer itself was a parody of the Dead Island trailer – showing shots of the game, reversed and in slow-motion.
PLAY AS A DEMON GOAT, OR A GIRAFFE
The game is fun for a while. It includes some very easy achievements, and may have you coming back for the collectibles, trying to find hidden Easter eggs, and of course, the laughs. It’s more than a simple joke game though – more akin to a brief distraction game. Short in content, with only two worlds, but it has its own version of Flappy Bird to keep you frustrated for hours.
For those who liked playing in the sandbox, wall running, general mayhem or slow-motion . . . things.
Alexander Goatstafsson (Win the title boat!) – 15G
Devil Goat (We are each our own devil, and we make this world our hell) – 30G