Goat-y goodness, a review of ‘Goat Simulator’

Playing Goat Simulator, developed by Coffee Stain studios, is an utterly ridiculous experience through and through. In a nutshell, you play as a goat in a sparsely-populated suburban area in which you are free to completely spazz out. Entertaining, surreal and chaotic, the very existence of this game is cause for wonderment. Essentially, it’s an enjoyably sloppy hodgepodge of spastic physics, broken collision detection and disparate objectives, all freakishly conjoined into one mutated mass of goat-y goodness.

I’ve squeezed about three hours’ worth of playtime out of the game thus far, and I think that’s enough to sate my desire to inflict chaos upon an unsuspecting populace of suburbanites for the time being, as hard as that might be to believe. The first half-hour consisted of 10 to 15 minutes of unadulterated tomfoolery, followed by another 15 minutes of emptily staring at the screen and contemplating the nature of life as I aimlessly launched a goat into pedestrians, cars and various extraneous objects.

Therein lies the danger of Goat Simulator; you can only play it without any clear sense of direction for so long before your mind starts to wander and you find yourself trapped in the harrowing depths of inner turmoil and existential angst. Or maybe that’s just me.

After this brief period of deep soul-searching, I pulled myself together and began actively completing objectives and earning achievements. This, along with random wanton acts of destruction and stupidity to fill the interim, kept me occupied for the next two and a half hours or so. In doing so, I discovered that there’s more to Goat Simulator than aimless violence, clumsily stringing together combos by knocking into everything, flapping around on the ground like a fish out of water, and standing motionless on the sidewalk so pedestrians tripped over Goat and became instantly floppy and unresponsive.

I entered an outdoor wrestling ring and prevailed over opposing goats, after which Goat instantaneously bulked up and became impressively muscled, as is nature’s way. I was abducted by aliens and spent a good few minutes floating in space after dragging a beacon with my tongue out into a field and placing it on a stick. I climbed a tiny tower and was teleported into a throne room filled with subservient goats and was, for whatever reason, declared ruler over all goats and given the power to make goats rain from the skies above. I discovered a pentagram that was tucked away in the corner of a field and summoned forth my sky-goat minions as a sacrifice, after which I gained the power to summon black holes.

I still have more to unlock, and I’m sure I’ll continue to discover more ridiculous things to do in future playthroughs. The addition of Steam Workshop support has left me optimistic for the future of the game, especially seeing as how modders have already started adding content in the form of new maps (most of which, as of right now, are incomplete), new unlockable powers, modified physics and purely aesthetic changes. As long as the community maintains an interest in supporting this wonky game, I’ll keep coming back for more.

Is Goat Simulator worth $10? To be perfectly honest—from a completely objective standpoint—probably not. At least, not yet. Despite my enjoyment, for the same price or less, you can find hundreds of other games on Steam that offer significantly more depth, content and longevity. The aforementioned inclusion of Workshop support will likely continue to keep people interested in the game for the foreseeable future, but it’s too early to tell if the title will have any lasting appeal or support within the modding community. That being said, if you’re okay with plopping down the cash based on the premise alone, go for it. If you’re on the fence, wait for it to go on sale.

Goat Simulator is currently available on Steam for $10.