Game Reviews

Goat Simulator

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| Goat Simulator
Goat Simulator
| Goat Simulator

Goat Simulator is catastrophically stupid. It's a ridiculous physics experiment turned into a single joke about head butting things and falling over. There is no punch line. It's a fart in a classroom.

This is a piece of entertainment that is wilfully broken. It takes great glee in its ragdoll spasms, its stupendous idiocy, and its aimless bandy-legged meanderings.

It relies on blunt objects and explosions to ram home the fact that it is inherently broken. There's some exploration underneath the chaos, and enough of a world to flail around in that the price tag isn't too egregious.

But after a while the joke inevitably falls flat. And what you're left with is an inadequately put together game about a goat with balance problems.

Getting your goat up

You control your goat with a joystick. Swiping the screen moves the camera. Then you've got a selection of buttons. One of these makes you jump and one of them makes you headbutt things. Another controls your freakishly long tongue, and a fourth lets you lose and regain all control of your limbs.

It's up to you what you do with these skills. Maybe you'd like to go and smash your head into a petrol station to see what happens. You could try climbing a crane, destroying an ancient monument, or dressing up like Spider-Man and sliding down a water chute.

The possibilities are, quite literally, limited. There are golden goat statues to collect and achievements to unlock. You gain access to more costumes as well, including one incredibly disturbing one that sees you tottering around as a freakishly contorting giraffe.

Some places play out like little mini-games. You can fight another goat if you want, although the scrap seemingly lasts forever and, like much of the content here, doesn't even bother to try and make sense.

Smash and smash

There's enough going on in the town you're trashing that you can start to make your own little games. I tried pushing people in front of the train, because my goat is a hateful creature of pure spite.

I hitched a ride on a firework and accidentally exploded in the air. I slipped on the jetpack costume and flew to the end of the world. And it kept me smiling, because Goat Simulator is proud to demonstrate that it just doesn't care.

This glitchy mess of broken goat necks and pedestrians trapped by the carnage you've created is happy to swagger around, fall over a bin, make a car explode, and then toss some axes around with its hideous tongue.

I don't think goats are supposed to do that

And of course sometimes it doesn't work. Sometimes it's a frustrating throb of hooves and horns that's somehow got trapped between a brick wall and a house.

You will get bored of Goat Simulator, and you'll get bored quicker than you'll get bored of a lot of other games. But will you get three quid of fun out of it while it's still bonkers and fresh and anarchic?

Yeah, I reckon you probably will.

Goat Simulator

It's not perfect, but that's sort of the point. Goat Simulator is one-note and ridiculous, but it does it very well