More broken than Diablo III‘s launch, more unstable than a Battlefield 4 server and still a better love story than Twilight, Coffee Stain Studios‘ Goat Simulator is easily the best goat simulation on the market today. Wait, what do you mean you don’t like broken games? That’s the point!
Goat Simulator is exactly as the name implies; you control a goat and do goat stuff. Of course, goat stuff generally means nuking everything in to Narnia, sacrificing humans to Satan and causing as much chaos as huma.. er.. as goatally possible, but it’s still just typical goat stuff. Seriously, Google it.
As a nameless goat — that I lovingly referred to as Jeff Goldblum — you’re tasked with completing a list of objectives in a fairly mid-sized sandbox environment that mimics a small suburban town. You can attach yourself to things by licking them, jump, ragdoll and headbutt stuff, but the rest is up to you and your serial killer-level imagination.
Coffee Stain Studios (Sanctum series, and the upcoming A Story About My Uncle) has basically put you in the role of a Goat God. You’re immortal, so not even the mightiest blow from a semi-truck or an exploding gas station can take you down! If you can complete objectives for a few minutes without hurting anyone, you can turn in to Angel Goat, but me? I sacrificed so many goats to Satan that black metal bands in Norway are currently writing entire albums about Jeff Goldblum! (My goat, not the actor.)
Sacrificing living beings inside of a giant pentagram grants you evil powers that allow you to suck in any sort of destructible object and/or living creature, and eventually explode fantastically around the map, potentially glitching out the game in the process. You see, the developers know — and even warn you in advance on their Steam page — that Goat Simulator is a broken game. Hell, they don’t even want to fix the laundry list of known issues because they find them hilarious, and I can totally get behind that.
Sure, you can zone in and start completing objectives like “Jump over an object!“, but why do that when you can literally destroy an entire suburban town and unlock score multipliers while the words FUCK THE POLICE! pop up on your screen in giant purple letters? Trust me, you’ll get stuck in terrain, get tossed over the playable portion of the map, fall through the Earth and at some point become launched in to the air for what seems like no reason at all, but it’s this unpredictability that makes it so beautiful. Did I mention there’s a Flappy Bird clone hidden somewhere in the game?
Yes, you’re paying $10 for something that would never make it out of beta testing elsewhere, and if you’re not interested in the chaotic absurdity that Goat Simulator offers, that’s totally understandable. It’s not a game for everyone. I even found myself questioning the validity of the game, and sometimes felt like I was being trolled by a group of developers who wanted to see what sort of ridiculous concept they could crap out and then take bets on how many of us would actually pay for it.
Let’s face it. With a name like Goat Simulator, you kind of know what you’re getting yourself in to, but the reality is that you really, really don’t. And when you first start playing and wonder just how in the hell someone could possibly recommend this game, that’s when it’ll happen. You’ll accidentally headbutt something explosive, ragdoll across the entire map in slow motion, and possibly choke to death on your own laughter. It’s a beautiful disaster with a simple concept that sells itself on its own chaotic absurdity, and that alone makes it worth the price of admission.
Goat Simulator is an ugly person with physical disabilities that you take out on a date because you can overlook their shortcomings and focus on what’s awesome. If I could go back in time and tell my 10 year old self that in 22 years they’d be playing a game based purely on being a goat, I’d probably stop playing games forever. But times have changed, and in an industry flooded with cookie-cutter AAA blockbuster titles that do little-to-nothing to innovate in fear of poor sales figures, Goat Simulator is a huge breath of fresh air. More importantly though, it’s really, really fun.
Recommended for fans of: Octodad: Dadliest Catch, or any other weird games that are nothing like they appear on the outside.
Bradley Keene is an avid gamer & aspiring writer from Baltimore, MD that handles news, reviews and editing here at What’s Your Tag?. If he’s not writing or knee-deep in an MMO, he’s usually watching low-budget horror films or following Orioles baseball. Follow him on Twitter, Twitch or contact him by e-mail. Love gaming? Join TEAM XBRO today!