Long time readers of my site know that many years ago, I held a near-decade job within the video game biz as a member of Quality Assurance (or in other words, a tester). I played some fun enough games. Other games… well, not so much. But the time from prototype to retail form was a long and perilous road, often eating months of my life at a time. With long hours and waning sanity during “crunch mode”, one had to think outside the box or exploit various glitches within the vilest of games to keep one’s sanity. And sometimes, just sometimes, you could find the most hilarious of things within those games.

Goat Simulator is kind of like that.

At best, this game may actually still be in its “Beta” stage. In some circles of discussion, it might actually be “Alpha”. Let’s get to the point here: It’s glitchy. The physics are massively broken. The music is ridiculous and stupid. The character animations are laughable. Little makes sense. And it’s a hodgepodge of random events that just don’t connect together in any meaningful way. Ordinarily as a gamer, I’d be pissed about this. And yet, here’s the thing: The developer, Coffee Stain Studios, is aware of this, and consequently lets you know as much. They don’t hide this fact at all, and actually advise you to spend your money elsewhere. But I had to know regardless. I had to take the plunge.

And I’m glad I did.

Goat Simulator may actually be one of the funniest games I’ve played in a long time.

Like any game in its development stage, there are things that you are simply never meant to do. My team and I would always moan the removal of such amazing “features” as bodies jiggling like they were made out of Jell-O, or cars that flew into the sky or self-destructed on the press of a button. Those weapons that stuck in you and progressively removed health as the fight went on in Mortal Kombat V? A glitch we petitioned long and hard to keep. In Goat Simulator, the Goat has a miles long tongue that can stick to anything. ANYTHING. See that hang glider flying past? Sure, go ahead and jump at it to see if you’ll stick (you do). Go ahead and enter a home and knock the people inside miles away. Roll a boulder down a hill and crush a group of party goers, and then sacrifice them in a pentagram to become a Dark Goat God.

Wait… what?

That’s the thing about Goat Simulator: It rewards those weird “What ifs”, so go ahead and lick a bottle rocket to fly into space, or fight rednecks in a wildly careening monster truck, or face space aliens, or join a Goat Fight Club, or break up a group of protesters, or blow up a gas station “Michael Bay” style.

The same goes for jumping on trampolines, or riding down water slides, or finding a hidden Goat Kingdom where you can become the Goat King. The game rewards exploration with utterly bizarre and unpredictable rewards. It becomes a contest to see how many flips you can do while being launched into the upper atmosphere, or terrorizing humans, or just smashing things up because, well, you’re a Goat, and you can. If was you to see if you can do something, there’s a pretty good chance that it’s possible and interactive.

The game revels in silliness, and a complete and utter lack of logic. It even offers a button simply designed to make your Goat bleat. Yes, the life of a Goat really is that hardcore.

Here is a video of a very happy person playing Goat Simulator (lots of language and wild laughter abound):

As fun and outright bold as this game is, I do think the game is a one-trick pony. Again, it’s intentionally bad, and makes no bones about it, but I shudder to think of how many completely unplayable and unfunny clones that will undoubtedly spawn from a game like this because developers will think this is “Okay”. This was a special, special case, and one that I don’t think will (or should) be easily replicated. They are, however, making DLC for the game, but it’s free, so there’s that.

I laughed and had more fun with this than I should. It reminded me of those “broken” days of game testing, and those magical moments that came from this. If you have a twisted sense of humor, or want to feel like you’ve been thrust in the middle of a QA session with no explanation as to what’s going on, Goat Simulator is the place to be.

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