Goat Simulator
Gameplay 8
Graphics 8
Sound 8

Goat Simulator might be a joke, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a lot of fun. There is a surprising amount of things to do considering the small playing area and tons of secrets to discover. If you like messing around in a sandbox environment you will get your moneys’ worth out of this game, but it remains to be seen how much Steam Workshop content will be released to increase the longevity.

Gameplay: Buggy, glitchy and lots of fun while it lasts.

Graphics: Nice visuals, but intentionally bad animations.

Sound: Decent sound effects and one extremely catchy tune

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Goat Simulator

Developer: Coffee Stain Studios | Publisher: Coffee Stain Studios | Release Date: 2014 | Genre: Casual / Indie / Simulation | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

An indestructible goat terrorizing a small town might sound like a Stephen King novel, but it is actually the latest title from Coffee Stain Studios. Don’t let the simulator part of the title fool you, this game simulates goats in the same way that Surgeon Simulator 2013 simulated surgery.

No reason is given for the goat going berserk, but then again none is needed. You are simply plopped into a small town sandbox, with physics that barely hold everything together, and then encouraged to go on a rampage. Due to the unpredictable physics all kinds of wacky things happen while you are causing mayhem. Your goat has a super powered headbutt that can blow up cars with one hit and send non player characters soaring through the air like something out of a Japanese anime. The physics tend to spazz out all the time, so you never know if bumping into something will cause it, or your goat to go flying off the map. If this sounds stupid and broken to you, you would be absolutely right, but that is kind of the point of the game.

Goat Simulator was born from a game jam entry that garnered way more interest than the developers probably expected. Instead of spending years putting together a polished version of the game, the developers instead embraced the inevitable bugs and glitches that make the game as entertaining to watch as it is to play. They are eliminating the crash bugs, but in their own words “everything else is hilarious” and they are keeping it.

As you move your goat around the map in third person, you earn points for destroying things. Doing so with style earns you more points, but don’t expect too much depth. The scoring system has been compared to the old school skateboarding games like Tony Hawk’s, but it is a lot simpler than that. Your goat can do flips and spins while airborne, but that is about the extent of its “tricks.” You get a selection of challenges to complete, but these are pretty easy and can be done in an hour or two. The map is fairly detailed, but quite small, so most of your time will be occupied with seeing what kind of shenanigans your goat can get up to. Apart from headbutting things, you can also jump and lick. The lick is of particular interest as your goat has a very stretchy, very sticky tongue. Once the goat has latched on to something or someone with its tongue you can either drag it around or be dragged around. Your goat can also go limp at the touch of a button, which not only looks quite funny, but makes it more maneuverable as it is soaring through the air.

The longevity in Goat Simulator comes from the amount of secrets and easter eggs that are packed away in its small playing area. There are a few houses that you can enter, including a recreation of the Coffee Stains Studio, where you can play a few rounds of Flappy Goat while causing havoc. There are also hidden statues tucked away all over the map and obtaining these gives you access to some pretty funny alternatives to the default goat. I don’t want to spoil anything but the feather goat and tall goat alone makes it worth the effort of tracking down those golden statues. Other bizarre additions such as jetpacks, sacrificial clearings and even outer space add to the fun.

The visuals are surprisingly detailed, although the same can’t be said about the animations. The town is inhabited by some humans, but they generally just stand or dance around until directly threatened by the goat. The ragdoll physics for both the humans and goat result in some pretty weird contortions, and the way that the goat climbs ladders with its head rotating around looks downright disturbing. The sound effects are limited to some screams, explosions and your goat baaaa-ing, which is important enough to have its own key. The audio consists of one annoyingly catching tune that fits the game perfectly.

Goat Simulator is ultimately a joke, released on the 1st of April no less, so sooner or later it starts to wear thin. Don’t get me wrong, I spend about six hours just messing around and exploring the limits of the sandbox, but eventually you run out of things to do. The game is definitely more enjoyable when played with a group, and I have had a few people that scoffed at the idea of a goat game only to become totally engrossed in the onscreen antics. While what is on offer is already worth the asking price, the longevity is going to come from the Steam Workshop support that the game features. At the moment there is only a handful of items available, but considering the popularity of the game this is sure to change.

If you buy Goat Simulator at its full price you have no right to complain about any limitations. The developers themselves have stated that you might be better off saving up your money for a real goat, so you can’t say that you haven’t been warned. Ultimately though, the game is a lot of fun and I can think of far worse ways to spend my time than rampaging around as a virtual goat.

*Review originally published 2014.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows Vista
  • Processor: 2.0 GHz Dual Core Processor
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Shader Model 3.0, 256 MB VRAM
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Storage: 2 GB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c-compatible, 16-bit
  • OS: Windows 7 or 8
  • Processor: 2.0 GHz Quad Core Processor
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Shader Model 3.0, 512 MB VRAM
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Storage: 2 GB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c-compatible, 16-bit
  • OS: OS X 10.7
  • Processor: 1,4 GHz Intel i5, 2.0 GHz Dual Core
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • Storage: 2 GB available space
  • Additional Notes: MacBook Pro 2011, iMac 2011, MacBook Air 2012
  • OS: OS X 10.8
  • Processor: 2 GHz Intel i5 Processor
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 5000
  • Storage: 2 GB available space
  • Additional Notes: 2013 models or better
  • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
  • Processor: 2.0 GHz Dual Core Processor
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Shader Model 3.0, 256 MB VRAM
  • Storage: 2 GB available space
  • Additional Notes: We recommend using proprietary NVIDIA/AMD drivers
  • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
  • Processor: 2.0 GHz Quad Core Processor
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Shader Model 3.0, 512 MB VRAM
  • Storage: 2 GB available space
  • Additional Notes: We recommend using proprietary NVIDIA/AMD drivers

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