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Goat Simulator Review: Born to be Baaaaad

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Title: Goat Simulator
Price: $9.99
System(s): Windows
Release Date: April 1, 2014
Publisher (Developer): Coffee Stain Studios (Coffee Stain Studios)
ESRB Rating: N/A, I’d say it’s appropriate for ages 12 and up.

I walked up to a car, barely touched it, and somehow managed to trigger an explosion that sent me flying into the Coffee Stain Studios house. I played Flappy Goat. I inadvertently destroyed Goathenge, without even seeing what it looked like in the first place. I transformed my goat into some kind of evil deity, but didn’t really get to enjoy it because before I knew it, I skyrocketed into outer space.

I did all of this and more because I was a goat, and I loved every minute of it.

goat simulator

BAAAHAHAHAHAHA!

This is a game for the easily amused. For the people who want to have fun and explore a new world, interacting with its residents in bizarre, and perhaps unsavory, ways. It is a game for people who need a break and are tired of being chained down by endless quests and restrictive journeys. It is a game for people who like animals and always play as Roo in Streets of Rage 3 or Kuma in Tekken. It is for the lovers of Katamari Damacy.

Yes, it is for all of us. Because Goat Simulator is the game we need and deserve.

Once you become one with the goat, you can do whatever you please. You can lick people and things to drag them around like they’re your toys. You can speak. No building is closed to you, so long as you’re willing to headbutt a wall or window to break inside. There are actual objectives to conquer, special items to collect, and even things like jet packs and pitching machines to equip. If there’s something you want your goat to do in Goat Simulator, odds are she can. You’re given the gift of freedom.

goat simulator

Can I butt in?

I think what struck me most when I first started Goat Simulator was the surprising amount of detail. Homes are filled with furniture, books, electronic equipment and such. Barbecues have food (and fire!). Gas station shelves are stocked with products, and I surprisingly gained points for jumping over each of them. There are even four video games, Flappy Goat, Drug Wars, Snake, and Box Pusher, to play if you stand your goat in front of a TV. Coffee Stain Studios could have given us the bare minimum, but they actually went ahead and made our world a little more special.

Even more unexpected were the quests. Going in to Goat Simulator, I expected a free-form experience where I just explored and enjoyed life as a goat. I didn’t expect a score that would let me keep a tally of my waves of destruction. And I certainly didn’t expect to see missions that would see me ruining a party by pushing a boulder onto it or sacrificing Sanctum-related items in the hopes of “summoning” Sanctum 3. I certainly didn’t expect the choice to become good or evil. It really lends a sense of purpose to the game, not that it needed one in the first place.

In fact, the only thing that initially let me down were the controls. You don’t even learn how to “Baaa” or lick things during the initial splash screen. You have to wait for an ensuing one or press keys at random. Also, it’s one of those games where it would probably be best if you used a gamepad instead of the keyboard and mouse control scheme. I just didn’t feel like I could pull off the best, midair stunts and tricks when I was hampered by the keyboard controls. It felt clunky, while the gamepad made things seem smoother.

Though, I think part of it is that it will take a player a while to truly be one with the goat. Even three hours, the amount I spent playing, wasn’t enough to really master it. The first few play sessions, after all, will be about experimentation. Every playthrough expands your horizons and makes you a bigger, better, badder goat. And, while I’m sure some question how long Goat Simulator will manage to be amusing, I feel there’s a lot of potential for it to be a long haul kind of game. Especially since there’s Steam Workshop support. Already, people are working on new maps, new game elements, and even Sweet Autumn Hair. Who am I kidding? Goat Simulator will never die.

goat simulator

Whatever floats your goat.

Goat Simulator isn’t for everyone, though I find it hard to imagine there’s someone out there that wouldn’t be amused by the antics that can be achieved in this sandbox. It’s a buggy mess in the best way, and is essentially a virtual playground of the goatiest proportions. I marveled at all the discoveries I made, gleefully savored the wanton rampage, and look forward to future excursions into a world where I rule as a goat queen. Still, some may not feel that way. But, if you are one of those people who happen to be easily amused and delight in all things ridiculous, Goat Simulator is the game for you. Because really, everybody needs some mindless fun sometimes.

Site [Goat Simulator]

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