There is a quote on the Goat Simulator website that proudly reads “Goat Simulator is the latest in goat simulation technology, bringing next-gen goat simulation to YOU. You no longer have to fantasise about being a goat, your dreams have finally come true! WASD to write history.” That for me is a declaration of intent, a rallying cry to those with hollow horns, small bodies and lop ears, so if you ever fantasized about becoming a Goat then that fantasy is about to become a hilariously, fun packed reality.
Welcome to the world of the Goat where anything goes and by anything I mean, just ask the poor individual I recently head-butted across the land for no reason other than him simply complimenting me. Goat Simulator is a third person action simulation game, originally released through Windows via Steam back in 2014, it also made appearances through ports on the Mac and Linux before making its way to the iOS and Android and eventually finding a place to graze on the Xbox One and 360.
More daunting than a trip to Westeros
Developed by Coffee Stain Studios and Published by Double Eleven. Goat Simulator is the pinnacle of how to fly through the air with style and grace before riding the wheels off a bike in a way even Matt Hoffman would be jealous. There is simply nothing that this Goat can’t do, or at the very least wouldn’t try to and that could upset the poor residents of Goatville and Goat Bay City. They just want a peaceful life, a life where they can race their cars like maniacs through cornfields or hang out with friends and enjoy a nice barbeque, well not today, or any other day for that matter.
As the game begins you spawn in a random garden enclosed by fencing, ahead of you is another Goat, casually I wander on over to say BAA! but that’s sadly the end of my Goat vocabulary and the conversation ends before it begins. I quickly notice a Tower in front of me with Goats poking out of it and a ramp spiral around it running to the top, so curiously I trotted on up and walked into the top window and wham! I’m transported to some weird Castle where other Goats line up either side of a red carpet in front of a throne, as I approached the throne the Goats kneel down. I hop onto the throne and it catches alight, what’s going on…am I going to die? Nope I merely get sent back from where I came, however now I am a Queen.
Now I’m a Queen I should cut out the mindless head-butting
The game has a beautiful added feature that comes in the form of Mutators, these can be activated through the main menu and are a really fun part of the game, they allow you to totally transform what was already a strangely wonderful Goat with a whole array of different Mutators to be found through completing various tasks in the game. By the end of my experience, I could change my Goat into a whole range of different things like a giant Giraffe, whose balance sadly lets it down, walking with the Tall Goat Mutator on is more akin to Bambi on ice. Other cool Mutators include turning the Goat into an Alien and Robot, it appears there is no limit to what you can do with your hoofed friend. The transformations are not where the Mutators ability ends though, oh no, because I am now a Queen I can summon dead Goats from the sky, not weird in the slightest. I stand at the Sacrificial Grounds and watch as Goat after Goat drops to floor around me.
As you begin to find your way and leave the confinements of the garden, you find that you are free to roam about with no restrictions. The layout of the landscape and visuals are very similar to Rockstars classic School game, Bully even down to Goat Bay Cities Carnival/Fairground. Residents can be found performing a whole host of random activities and don’t seem to overly mind the Goat that’s bringing utter chaos down upon them.
There is plenty to see and do in and around Goatville, for example, the game has its own version of the iconic Stonehedge or ‘Goathenge’ there is also the chance to butt heads with other Goats in the Arena where you must survive five rounds against a range of other oddly powerful Goats, of course if you feel like being devious and evil you can pay a visit to the dark and eerie Sacrificial Grounds, if you happen to bring certain offerings with you you’ll get the Devil Mutator which turns your once beautiful Goat into a dark horned servant of the Devil, as if you needed more reason to damage your stellar reputation.
The first ship to put a Goat in space
It isnt all high flying and destruction causing in Goat Simulator, there are actually tasks you need to perform throughout the game and they come in a form similar to any Tony Hawk game, on the right hand of the pause screen and the in game screen an objective appears that needs completing and these can be anything from a simple front flip to gaining a set amount of points while in manual on your front hoofs. They are fun to complete and seem never-ending. Another highlight is the ability to slow down time with the press of the back button, unlike most games when slow-mo is activated it never runs out. You can manual till your little hearts content and it also helps with things like riding a bike although if you’ve ever seen a Goat riding a bike, it’s not a pretty sight.
You can travel to Goat Bay City via the tunnel in Goatville and nothing is required to visit or return you can go in and out of both areas whenever you like. Once inside the City, you’ll find shops, a skate ramp and a fairground but most important of all is the nostalgia to old school gaming. If you manage to find certain areas you’ll be rewarded with gaming memories like wandering into the cemetery to find a Slender-like shaped tree which attempts to scare you off or the random Minecraft Blocks found in and around the City and finally a trip to the sewers might see you run into four pizza loving crime-fighters who want to tangle with the Goat, it all adds up to the fun you can get out of this game and that should not go missing when reviewing a game like this.
Where exactly is that firework attached?!
From an outside point of view, Goat Simulator is never going to win any awards for Game Of The Year, it isn’t going to deliver in the story department but for sheer fun and enjoyment value, it gets two thumbs up. Fly around and going into Space with a Goat is something I have never seen before and the fact you can play with three friends online (1 on the 360) only adds to the craziness.
Coffee House Studios knew exactly what direction they wanted to go with the game and for what it is, Goat Simulator is as fun as it sounds. The game doesn’t take itself seriously in the slightest, in fact it plays on it and uses it to its advantage. If players approach the game with the same mindset, then there is a lot of fun to be had while playing it. Sure the graphics are not the greatest and there are some glitches, but that’s all part of the fun with the game. I loved bolting around with a human on my back, watching as their arms flailed around as if independent of their body although getting them off was a completely different nightmare.
So all of you humans, what are you waiting for? Get your Goat on today!