Goat Simulator – PC
Developer: Coffee Stain
Publisher: Coffee Stain
Release Date: April 2014
Nerd Rating: 6.5 out of 10
First off, you may be thinking, “Why? Why does a goat simulation game exist?” And you’re absolutely right to question it. There is no justifiable reason for this game to exist. In fact, it’s a waste of time – but it’s a hilarious waste of time in the Napoleon Dynamite sense of the phrase. Goat Simulator is best for sharing with friends and laughing at, but it’s by no means a lengthy game. It’s a basic simulation with in-game challenges and purposeful glitches. The idea of the game is to assume the role of an adventurous goat and accumulate points for high jumps, making things explode… and licking objects. No joke, the only way to grab something is to lick and drag (haha, get it? Lick and drag? Instead of click and drag? …Never mind) the object to whichever location that is desired, birthing chaos wherever your mischievous hooves tread. Another entertaining perk is the ability to toggle Ragdoll Mode by pressing the Q button. This opens up the opportunity for certain sports like Ragdoll Skate where your goat will crumple up and roll around on a skate obstacle, as if Tony Hawk was a goat with no bones.
Throughout the game there are golden goat trophies tucked in spaces that, once reached, unlock weird mutations like the Angel Goat that allows you to float longer, Demon Goat that can make dead goats fall from the sky, and even be a completely different animal, like an ostrich. Or my spirit animal, the majestic giraffe.
Unfortunately, these goat gimmicks go through wear and tear quite quickly. The longest I’ve played Goat Simulator in one sitting is around 45 minutes to one hour. It’s like consuming too many chocolate bars. The first few bites are satisfying and sweet, then after awhile you’re just mindlessly shoving chocolate into your mouth and not even enjoying it. Most of the humor comes from the absurdity and randomness. The glitches in Goat Simulator get laughs at first because they’re unexpected and wouldn’t be tolerated in most other serious games. But that’s the beauty of glitches. When glitches happen in a dramatic moment, it’s hilarious. When glitches are on purpose and happen frequently, they lose their chuckle-factor. Prime example: when the goat climbs ladders, its head spins around constantly like it’s Linda Blair on speed. Funny at first, then quickly becomes old. Then in contrast to a more somber game, say Mass Effect 3, the glitches are more side-splitting because they were conceived in a game that was meant to be taken seriously. The only other positive thing I can say about the glitches being on purpose is that they aren’t harmful to the game. However, there is an achievement that can be unlocked should you accidentally crash the game.
But Coffee Stain is relentless, so in recent months, new maps have been added to the game along with a couple new abilities (like wall-running and letting humans ride you like a pony). There’s also the craftsmanship of the contributors in the Steam workshop that continually add amusing mods to give the game variation. Personally, even after the new maps and mods, Goat Simulator could not hold my interest for more than a half hour. Sure, there were new environments to wreck, but I was spectating the same animations, just in a different setting. However, to give credit where credit is due, I find Coffee Stain admirable for automatically updating Goat Simulator with the new maps and never charging gamers a single penny for it. The gaming community is often taken advantage of when it comes to new maps, weapons, or even outfits for characters by being prompted for real-life money. It’s great to see Coffee Stain take a step in helping diminish what many would consider legalized robbery.
Goat Simulator is a joke game. However, it’s worth sparing a couple bucks on the next time Steam has a sale, even if it’s to enjoy it for an hour or two.
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