Goat Simulator Review

Richard Walker

How in the hell do you even review a game like Goat Simulator? That's a question I've been asking myself a lot during my extensive playtime with Coffee Stain Studios and Double Eleven's notorious indie title, racking my brains as to the best approach in assessing and coming up with a verdict for what might just be one of the most surreal things I've ever experienced. Ever. Seriously, I actually had nightmares about goats last night.

I think the best way to begin is with Coffee Stain's original description for the game upon its 2014 PC release. It succinctly and beautifully sums up Goat Simulator in four brief sentences. “Goat Simulator is a small, broken and stupid game. It was made in a couple of weeks so don’t expect a game in the size and scope of GTA with goats,” it says.


Don't worry. That's one tough old goat.

“In fact, you’re better off not expecting anything at all actually. To be completely honest, it would be best if you’d spend your $10 on a hula hoop, a pile of bricks, or maybe a real-life goat.” This is only partially true, because simply as a straightforward curio, Goat Simulator is certainly worth the cash. It's the kind of game you'd get your friends around to play, as they gaze slack-jawed at the inexplicable, melon-twisting insanity playing out on the screen.

Yes, Goat Simulator is glitchy and a complete mess, but that's part of the overall appeal. Clearly it's not to be taken seriously in any way and the array of mutators to fiddle around with only add to the complete and utter madness. We're not sure what Coffee Stain was smoking when it came up with this, but I think I really want some.

You can fit a jetpack to your nanny goat, sending her (yes, your goat is a 'she') reeling through the air in the most hilarious way imaginable. You can find a great hall tucked away in a little tower, where you can become the goat queen, able to summon goats from the sky at the push of a button. How about instead interrupting a Deadmau5 concert and ramming the DJ and his admiring audience off the edge of a skyscraper? Sure, why not?!

Or you could bound around as the tall goat, otherwise known as a giraffe, wreaking havoc in your big, giraffey wake. Hit B and you can toggle the ability to collapse into a ragdoll heap, meaning your limp goaty body can slide down ramps, ping off through the air and fly huge distances. Nuts. Your long stretchy tongue, meanwhile, can stick to practically anything, dragging along the bodies of screaming people, volatile barrels or whatever other detritus you can pick up. Headbutt a car or indeed a gas station and it'll explode, sending you and anything around it blasting into the stratosphere.

The beauty of Goat Simulator is the whole 'I wonder what would happen if...' aspect, encouraging you to experiment with and push the game's boundaries, seeing how far you can challenge the janky physics and glitchiness. At one point, I managed to sink into the floor and somehow force the camera into a first-person view. This isn't supposed to happen, but Goat Sim is so unapologetically glitch-riddled that it's forgiveable. Which doesn't even make sense.

But in Goat Simulator it does. Somehow. Remember how in Skyrim, some of the game's glitches were really funny? Actually, glitches are just funny, when they're not ruinous or game-breaking, and that in a nutshell is what's so enjoyable about Goat Sim. Sacrifice five people at the Satanic pentagram tucked away on one of Goatville's hills and you'll unlock the devil goat, which creates some of the best glitchy moments in the game. Just go into a house and hit Y and watch the madness unfold to see what I mean.

The more mutators you activate (some can't be equipped at the same time), the more scope for total anarchy you'll have access to. Throw in race, score and multiplayer objectives to complete, and Goat Simulator actually gives you a lot to see and do. Yes, there's multiplayer support for up to four players, which as you can imagine, gets pretty hectic. It's all essentially about playing in the sandbox that's the real draw, however, messing around at the funfair, blasting off into outer space, riding a bike or just seeing how far you can soar through the sky.


Guess what's going to happen to this guy.

Encouraging exploration of all these riches is an achievement list that demands you discover all of Goat Simulator's bizarre hidden secrets, whether it's descending into the sewers to fight the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (sort of), rolling a boulder over a party, keeping a bicycle balanced for 60 seconds or gathering collectibles. The achievements demonstrate just how much is tucked away in Goat Simulator, making it the perfect complement to an utterly mental game.

It may sound like some sort of weird joke, but Goat Simulator is very real. And we're happy that it exists. The very antithesis of a po-faced simulation game, Goat Simulator is sheer and unadulterated video gaming comedy. If Monty Python were in charge of making a game, it would almost certainly be something like this. Judge Goat Simulator as a video game, and it is by its own admission completely terrible. But as something that will keep you simultaneously entertained, bewildered and most importantly laughing throughout, Goat Simulator is worth its weight in gold.

Goat Simulator might be a dumb, broken, entirely ludicrous game, and most will probably stop playing it after a few hours, but I can't help but love it regardless.

Goat Simulator

A gloriously unhinged and unashamedly stupid game, Goat Simulator is still one of the most enjoyable things I've played in some time. It's a horribly glitchy mess, but it's also somewhat majestic in its commitment to providing surreal lunacy that will have you in fits of laughter. If this is what it's like to be a goat, I don't want to be human anymore.

Form widget
65%
Audio
40%

Completely awful compressed soundbites and quirky music might add to Goat Simulator's lo-fi charm, but there's no denying that it's more than a bit rubbish.

Visuals
50%

Dreadful, muddy textures and more glitches than a million Skyrims make Goat Simulator a constant source of hilarity. It's all intentional (at least I think it is), but again, it's rubbish.

Playability
70%

Complete and utter madness, Goat Simulator is a simple game to pick up and play, meaning anyone can get something out of it. Your goat can't die, meaning you can throw it around to your heart's content, blowing it up, getting it run over, mangled by a combine harvester or whatever other sadistic thing you may have in mind.

Delivery
60%

Once you've found all of the secrets and completed the objectives, there's only so long you can frolic around Goat Sim's open-world before boredom starts to creep in. Nonetheless, if you can get past the intentional wonkiness of the whole thing, there's a solid few hours of entertainment here. It's funny as hell too.

Achievements
80%

A list that's focused primarily on uncovering all of Goat Simulator's secrets and diversions, this is almost perfect. Yet, it seems like something of a missed opportunity to not have more achievements on the list, given the scope and variety of silly activities you can perform.

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