Thursday, April 17, 2014

PC Spotlightlight #89: Goat Simulator

Title: Goat Simulator
Developer: Coffee Stain Studios
Platforms: PC
Price: $9.99
So Goat Simulator really exists. According to IGN comments and Steam discussions (clearly the most reputable opinions on the Internet), the game is an obvious sign of the PC gaming apocalypse, a mindless lowest-denominator bug-riddled mess for the causal gamers who listen to Let's Play channels like sheep. Ignore the naysayers. Yes, Goat Sim is mindless, and it's bug riddled, but it's also stupid silly fun and what's wrong with that?
Any impressions of Goat Simulator would be lacking without acknowledging the game's origin. What started as a fun little jam experiment for Coffee Stain interns went viral and somehow become a real released game. I think that sense of fun and just doing it for the love of making games rather than trying to develop a serious actual experience just permeates all aspects of Goat Simulator. You can tell the developers had an absolute blast making the game and guess what, it's stupid and silly but so much fun. Even though the map is small, it's packed with cool little secrets and things to discover and the glitchy ragdoll physics never get old. Perhaps more than any game I've played since Just Cause 2, this is a true sandbox. Sure there are missions to complete, but the real fun is just equipping some of the crazy mutators and trying to accomplish some emergent goal and failing hilariously in the process. Steam Workshop support only gives Goat Simulator more longevity and variety.
More content in the form of split-screen multiplayer, a new map, new goats, and more is coming in a patch mid-May. Goat Simulator certainly won't appeal to everyone. Some will dismiss it at a glance, or even say it's not a "real game." But it is. If you see Goat Simulator somewhere on my GOTY list in December, it's no joke. This is a genuinely fun, funny game that revels in its stupidity and craziness and silly mindless fun, and that makes it an experience worth playing. You can purchase Goat Simulator on Steam and through Humble.

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