Release Date: April 1, 2014Platform: PCDeveloper: Coffee Stain StudiosPublisher: Coffee Stain StudiosGenre: Third-person goat adventure
The goatpocalypse is inevitable in Coffee Stain Studios’ third-person adventure game about an evil goat with a taste for blood and carnage. Well, blood is a slight exagerration. There isn’t any gore, which is what makes Goat Simulator so charming. You almost forget that your task in the game is to commit mass murder while enjoying some pretty awesome skateboarding ramps and trampolines. Oh, there’s a jetpack, too. But really, you want blow as much shit up as possible to rack up points.
Goat Simulator is a very simple game, barely enough meat to carry it through more than a handful of replays. But you get what you pay for: the novelty of rampaging through an open-world map (albeit a small one) with a goat. I’d say that’s worth $10.
The first playthrough is by far the most fun. Your goal is to earn as many points possible by smashing into things, headbutting humans, and causing cars and gasoline tankers to explode. There’s also a very funny bit where you get to completely destroy a gas station, which sends you flying across the map. Oh, and your goat can’t die, so that helps.
There are a couple of special in-game “modes” that you can activate once you’re over the aimless destruction. Time trial is what you’d expect: rack up as many points as you can in 60 seconds. Besides destroying and killing, the goat can also gain points for licking random things (you can lick anything and even pull things around with your tongue, which is hilarious) or doing aerial tricks such as a backflip or a 1080 spin in the flames (it helps if you slow down time, which you can). There’s a pretty good goat fighting mode, which will make animal rights groups cringe. Basically, you want to headbutt the goat until you knock it out of the fighting ring.
My favorite part of the game was the skateboarding/aerial portion of the game, where you can go into ragdoll mode (your goat falls over and starts rolling around at the press of a button) and catch some serious air, allowing you to perform several goat-defying tricks. The amount of things that will shoot you into the air in this game is astronomical: fans, trampolines, explosions, ramps, etc. Being a zero-gravity goat is a lot more fun than you’d expect.
The game is incredibly glitchy, but that’s on purpose. Coffee Stain Studios fixed only enough bugs to allow the game to run. Otherwise, your goat is causing glitch after glitch, sticking his head through solid 3D models and climbing ladders that oddest way I’ve ever seen. Sometimes your goat will just get stuck in a wall or a fence and the game will be unable to move further. It isn’t maddening. In a game where you play as an indestructible goat, getting trapped in a game-killing glitch just serves as a GAME OVER. Your time in the goatpocalypse is done. Start a new game. And you will. You’ll start a new game and then another until you find all there is to do on the little suburban map.