Goat Simulator was developed and published by Coffee Stain Studios and Double Eleven on Xbox One and Xbox 360. It was released on April 17, 2015 for $9.99. An Xbox One copy was provided by Coffee Stain Studios and Double Eleven for review purposes.
One might look at Goat Simulator and wonder why on Earth they would want to play a game as a goat. After all, it seems like a rather mundane life, filled a lot of grass eating and standing around, but the goat’s life in Goat Simulator is anything but mundane. I found myself attending rooftop parties, riding roller coasters and getting into fights all while laughing hysterically at the ridiculous bugs physics that surrounded me. After spending a day in the life of a goat I was asking myself if I could somehow become a goat in the real world because clearly goats are having way more fun than humans.
Here’s what I liked:
Pop culture references — There are pop culture references galore in Goat Simulator, and each and every one encountered brought a smile to my face. The references vary from being easy to find to fairly challenging, and they also vary in scope. The references can be as simple as a picture on the wall of building or way more in-depth — a cleverly hidden sewer that houses the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a personal favorite.
Mayhem and Hilarity — Goat Simulator‘s real beauty is in the absolute mayhem that can be caused by a lone goat just by going about her life. And believe me, the more mayhem the better, because the hilarity that ensues is utterly breathtaking. Oftentimes a simple head butt or jump will result in crazy unintended consequences that will leave players gasping for breath as they try to stop laughing from the absurdity of what was just witnessed. I would frequently set out with a specific goal in mind, whether achievement, score combo or just a vague idea and all of a sudden I would wind up in a totally new area of the city and have my mind completely blown. Each experience is fairly unique, and after each play session there was almost always something that I felt needed to be shared.
Co-op — Everything in Goat Simulator works best when it’s shared with other people, and the game seems to know it. Local co-op for up to four people has been added to the Xbox One version, and it works wonderfully. Everything functions as if the game was still taking place in single player, which is even more impressive considering all of the random physics that happen. The multiplayer also adds a near endlessly fun aspect to Goat Simulator, because even though I started to grow a bit bored of playing by myself after five hours, the game never gets old when the humor is being shared.
Here’s what I didn’t like:
The physics can be too wonky — The crazy physics are a main selling point and are a factor in why the game is so funny, but sometimes they can be way too out of whack for comfort. It is incredibly difficult to travel up thin walkways or to land crucial jumps on smaller platforms, and it always seems to happen while you’re working towards Achievements or trying to get a really high multiplier. This is never humorous and only results in frustration, but seeing as it only happened a handful of times throughout the entirety of the review, it really isn’t a major complaint.
Goat Simulator is a special type of fun that I haven’t seen for quite some time, especially on Xbox. Rather than being super polished or having amazing gameplay, it thrives in allowing chaos to fill the screen. Goat Simulator knows exactly what it is — a crazy open-world physics sim — and it never pretends to be something it’s not. Its acceptance of its role makes the best parts of the game shine and allows it to avoid feeling clouded with a multitude of ideas. Goat Simulator is best played late at night as a party game with friends, but anyone can enjoy it.
Score: Buy It