Coffee Stain Games
Reviewed on PC, available on iOS, Android
Goat Simulator is the result of an internet joke that went too far. The developer, Coffee Stain games, released a trailer for the game as a harmless prank with no real intention of releasing an actual game. The response across the web , however, was so positive that they decided to “finish” the game and release it.
I need to make one thing clear up front before I move on: This game is really, really dumb. It’s dumb in an insane, best friend from college who you don’t talk about much anymore kind of dumb. With all of that said, Goat Simulator is a lot of fun for people who enjoy doing seemingly random things and watching the ensuing chaos unfurl before them.
The core experience for Goat Simulator is straight forward. You control a goat as you run around various urban and rural environments. The “goal” of the game is to earn points by completing challenges. These challenges range in difficulty from performing a back flip to racing a bike. Players can also earn even higher scores by chaining different challenges together very quickly. This adds a certain level of creative thought to the process if they are chasing high scores.
With all that said, the real appeal for this game for most players will be running around the different environments and just seeing what will happen when they interact with the different objects. You see, your goat character is completely indestructible so the idea of head butting an oncoming semi results in your goat being flung harmlessly across the level. I let my two sons take a spin with the game and they spent the entire time just running around head butting things, seeing what happened, and laughing hysterically while they did it.
Family Gaming Assessment:
Goat Simulator is not a “violent” game by definition. You can run around the different levels and head but people, but there are no injuries. The people simply get up and continue with whatever they were doing beforehand.
The only real concern is that there are literally no consequences for any action taken in the game. This, combined with how hilarious the game is, might give some parents reason to be concerned. I know that my wife had to help settle down the massive giggle fit that our boys had while playing the game.
Goat Simulator is a fairly straight forward game to play. The controls will be second nature to any child who has played Minecraft before.
There is some reading involved if players want to complete challenges, but it is entirely possible to enjoy this game without ever intentionally completing a given challenge.
It is hard to recommend Goat Simulator to anyone because of how dumb it is. It is not an experience that will become “required reading” for players as they age. But, it is certainly a lot of fun.
One area where I see Goat Simulator as a great alternative is for younger teens who are asking to play sandbox games like Grand Theft Auto because they want to be able to just run around and do whatever they want. This presents those players with an opportunity to do wild, and largely stupid, things without the ability to shoot strangers and go to strip clubs. It is by no means a direct replacement, but it could hold them off and earn some laughs in the process!
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