If you don’t follow the weekly goat news online (like I do), then you are probably unaware of Goat Simulator – the brand new title from the creators of Sanctum, Coffee Stain Studios. And yes, this game is for real.
As the name suggests, Goat Simulator lets the player have the unmatchable and never-before-seen privilege of becoming a simple goat in an average town. However, it is not as straightforward as it seems. The town is littered with crazy things for the goat to play with… and use to create havoc.
The open-world nature of Goat Simulator makes it stand out in the non-existent goat simulation market. It allows you to fulfil the numerous crazy goat-related fantasies that you may or may not have thought of – such as throwing a man into a harvester with your tongue and watching him spin, or summoning a gravitational field to stop a protest by the locals against the selling and distribution of penis-shaped food items (yes, that’s a thing).
I should also note that, if you want to use the gravitational field, you will have to sacrifice a couple of objects to the Devil Goat to activate it (again, that’s a thing).
The goat, despite looking unremarkable, can do things no other goat can. It can slow down time, survive falling from heights that no man or any other goat could, ragdoll whenever the need strikes him, and breathe in space. Heck, it could even make it rain goats from the sky to please their “goaty” overlord – but only when it becomes the King of the Goats.
And if you’re looking to do something in your spare time, you can grab a jetpack and fly around town without a single care to how the local population – or the construction crew, who originally owned the jetpack before you stole it – feel. Because that’s what every little goat dreams of doing before they grow up.
The game grants many options to the gamer, allowing them to have an extremely fun time while mucking around being a four-legged ball of destruction. As well, if you start to think that your goat is looking a bit shabby and bland, you can change it to something else. Choices include becoming a “tall goat” (giraffe), a “feathered goat” (ostrich), a “Blue Streak” and a “Yoshi Goat” – the latter two homages to SEGA’s Sonic the Hedgehog and Nintendo respectively. And yes, if you choose the “Yoshi Goat”, you can eat objects to turn them into watermelon bombs; while the “Blue Streak” lets you spin and turn blue.
While it is fun to make fun of the entire premise, you can see how much effort that Coffee Stain Studios put in Goat Simulator. They have even made a playable game called “Flappy Goat” – based on the smash hit Flappy Bird – within their world, complete with its own in-game leaderboard (try and beat my high score of 8). As well, there are collectible trophies hidden all over the world, all based from their other title Sanctum. They rightfully deserve some praise for the hard work they put into the game – even if it is just a goat simulation game.
I should also stress that many of the bugs and glitches were purposely left in place. For instance, the force of a very large (and very grand) explosion could launch you to an unrendered section of the map. This results in you falling endlessly in a void of nothing. So, why did Coffee Stain leave them? Just to keep the hilarity factor, and I don’t have a problem with this. In my opinion, it allows the player to have a great time trying to see if they can get their goat’s head through anything in the game.
There is one problem I have with Goat Simulator, and that all special powers and accessories are bound to the same key. This can really hilarious at first – where you are able to launch a baseball, your jetpack, and every other command you have obtained with one key. But, in the end, it becomes really annoying and clunky as you try and activate things like “Flappy Goat”. Also, I was sometimes forced to restart the level because two of the abilities I collected got in conflict with each other.
They rightfully deserve some praise… even if it is just a goat simulation game.
It should also be noted that Goat Simulator does not have multiplayer – not that it really matters. According to Coffee Stain’s FAQ page, it is because they use NVIDIA PhysX and Apex for their game physics, and introducing multiplayer would require them to remove 90 percent of the physics, all destructible objects, and a lot of their favourite features. Players will, however, have the power to make their own levels and mods for the game as the developers are working to bring Steam Workshop support.
Overall, Coffee Stain has really done a great job with this game. The gameplay and hilarity factor alone constitutes a great game in my opinion, and they should be honestly happy with themselves for releasing such an oddball of a game.
Goat Simulator deserves some sort of award for being the best farmyard-related animal simulator for the year. In fact, I go so far in declaring it GOTY – or, Goat of the Year.
It is available from April 1 on Steam, and is only available on Windows. You can preorder from the website.
Coffee Stain Studios
- You get exactly what you pay for – playing a goat
- Fun to play
- Easy to lose yourself and think you’re a goat
- Small map size
- Command key issues