Steam, the online gaming community, store, and portal is known to host a variety of games from both well known developers and indie developers. It has its fair share of widely played titles, critically acclaimed titles, praised indie titles, and then there are things like Woodcutter Simulator 2013. Steam is unafraid to play host to an array of totally weird and unexpected indie games like Goat Simulator. In this game, the player is a goat. As a goat the player’s goal is to wreak as much havoc on his or her surroundings as possible, earning points for causing mayhem and wrecking stuff along the way. The developers, Coffee Stain Studios, intended for Goat Simulator to be a joke an never make its way into an actual, finished product available for sale. In short, they did not finish the game, but they are selling it anyway starting April 1. The best part? It is going to be awesome.
Goat Simulator has been described as “stupid” and “broken” by its own developer, who allegedly left a number of bugs in the game purposely, and only removed the ones that would cause a crash. This leaves players with a sandbox world full of stuff to wreck, and broken physics to exploit all for the sake of humor. A world full of easily destructible objects and a goat with infinite health does not sound like a whole lot of fun; however, watching reviews and samples of people playing the game says otherwise. The goat goes flying across the map when hit by cars, and a simple headbutt from the goat causes objects to fling in every direction. Objects in-game explode seemingly at the slightest touch, and the human NPCs make for some hilarious targets. Players get achievements and high scores based upon what is wrecked and how much damage is done to the goat. In one video, there appears to be a button that toggles the goat from a standing position to rag doll style physics.
While Goat Simulator guarantees heaps of ridiculous fun and extreme hilarity, the very idea of the actual game itself is ridiculous. When players are given a game, they expect a clean, bug-free environment to explore and pursue the game’s course as necessary. In the case of Goat Simulator players go in to the game expecting an experience full of broken physics, buggy gameplay, and a total lack of effort on part of the game developers. But this is what makes the overall experience fun. Somehow it is fun to play a game littered with bugs if it is supposed to be littered with bugs. It is this mentality that harkens back to the days before the gaming industry became what it is now, when mainstream games had exploitable bugs, or when younger players encountered the infuriating issues that forced restarts, or caused losses of save files. The really awesome part about Goat Simulator becoming a game is that it is essentially a joke about what used to be an actual reality in gaming. It is kind of a way of shrugging off the frustration of the past, while still having fun with it. Goat Simulator comes head-butting its way into PCs on April 1st.
Opinion by Michael Foster