Goat Simulator Review
+ Growing workshop support
+ Tons of hidden secrets
- Base game does not have a lot of content
I don’t think I can say I’ve ever wanted to be a goat before hearing about Goat Simulator. I’m not a huge fan of farm animals, and goats are just kind of weird. Their rectangular pupils, their endless appetite, it all just kind of rubs me the wrong way.
Then Goat Simulator happened.
Goat Simulator, developed by Coffee Stain Studios, is a game where you play as a Goat. Simulator games have been a trend lately with games such as Woodcutting Simulator and Helicopter Simulator, so why not throw goats into the equation. The only difference between those other simulator games and Goat Simulator is that it’s basically a parody of the genre. Goat Simulator is simply a massive sandbox that exists solely for you to cause mass chaos and destruction. There aren’t any overarching goals, endings, or reasoning behind anything in Goat Simulator’s world. It’s simply pointless fun.
WIthout a doubt, the best part of Goat Simulator is it’s humor. It has quite a few similarities with something like Octodad due to their physics-based nature, and zany concept where you play as an animal. I guarantee you, this is one of the few times where you’ll be able to watch a goat rocket into the sky and explode into a spectacular fireworks display, or wander into an anti-gravity lab and do 10 frontflips for an achievement.
Along with being a sandbox, your goat can also lick things. Admittedly this is a little weird, but it’s worth it since it acts as a lasso and lets you drag any object anywhere. See that giant boulder? Lick it and run it down mainstreet. People protesting phallic shaped foods? Lick it and disgust them even more. Couple this with various abilities you can get, such as jet packs, and it feels as though the possibilities are limitless.
As of right now, there is a single map littered with dozens of interesting interactions and hidden secrets. It’s not very large by any means, but it’s definitely a start and can easily take a few hours to fully explore. And when I say there are secrets, I mean there are a lot of them; even after I thought I found everything, I was still discovering new items for my goat to use tucked away on top of buildings or in the corner of the map. I won’t spoil anything, but I will say Goat Simulator will probably be more fun for you if you know less.
The biggest problem with Goat Simulator, as of right now, is the lack of content. This will change in the future however, because Steam Workshop is supported by Goat Simulator. There are a few simple mods as of right now, but there will inevitably be some really neat and creative levels from dedicated modders in the future. This reliance on the workshop really shows how limited the game is as of right now. The limited content and no concrete goals means the player has to explore on their own terms, which is something some people don’t enjoy. I suppose achievements can act as a sort or goal for some players, but even getting every achievement doesn’t take too long. In order to find all the little secrets and fun quirks in Goat Simulator, you really have to be able to explore on your own.
Visually, Goat Simulator is nothing impressive yet technically demanding. The visual options are sparse and essentially boils down to an effects slider between “high” and “low.” Now I know graphics aren’t exactly a priority in a game like this, but Goat Simulator isn’t very optimized. In hectic situations with lots of objects, my performance would drastically drop from a solid 60 to around 20. I’m sure if your computer has a fairly recent or mid-grade card, there won’t be any issues but don’t even think about trying to run this game on a laptop.
Try, Buy, or Avoid?
I actually really enjoyed my time with Goat Simulator, but I don’t know if you will. It’s not made for everyone. I mean, it has to count for something that the developers tell you not to buy the game right in the description. I tried to get my girlfriend to play it and she couldn’t grasp the point of it, but that’s the thing; there is no point. However, if Goat Simulator sounds interesting to you and you enjoy exploring without any purpose, then you’ll probably enjoy your time as a goat.
You can check out the Steam page for Goat Simulator here.