Is Goat Simulator a bad game? That’s not a simple yes or no question.
There is no question the game provides a few moments of humor, both from the premise and the physics. However the humor wears thin, and the title I use for this article is the sort one can expect. Blow up a gas station, earn the Michael Bay achievement/score thingy. The text to voice software provides a few moments of fun when you make it when I made it say “Ari and Sidd are doofy poopy butts”, which sent my ten year old laughing so hard he had to leave the room. It’s the physics itself of course that provide most of the humor. Being able to climb a construction crane’s ladder with your neck, the odd physics glitches. Those are the things that provide most of the humor. After a while though, as noted, it wears thin. You can see the same joke only a few times before it gets repetitive and boring. The humor is certainly not great humor like South Park: Stick of Truth, which is one of the most genuinely funny games, if South Park crude humor, ever. It’s more like, “Ha, watch how he gets stuck in the air if I activate this power and see him rag doll around.” The second time you push that R to deactivate the power and fall back as the moment is gone. One will watch a funny movie several times, and find it funny each time, but this isn’t the same with Goat Simulator where you just start rolling your eyes at it after a short while, and without the humor moments the game loses most of its appeal.
There is a bit of a game inside the physics sandbox portion. There are some statues hidden around the lone map that the game ships with (though there is another map coming sometime in May) that you want to collect as many of as possible. Collecting them and finding certain hidden areas and doing the challenge there, give you upgrades. For example, in the goat fighting circle, defeat four goats and you get a muscle power goat. Don’t hurt anything for 5 minutes get the Angel Goat, drag five people to the pentagram and earn a devil goat and lots of others. These powers, once unlocked, can be used in a custom game mode, and combined for some semi-funny combos, some of which are needed, apparently, to unlock other modes. There are a few odd challenges to try and attempt like getting on the hang glider, jumping on each trampoline in the game only once without touching the ground in between them, and a few other odds and ends. These are what makes one actually come back to the game off and on.
However, the game can really only be handled in a really short duration, like 30 minutes tops, perhaps an hour the first time. After that it becomes more a, try a custom game to get to that one statue you haven’t got to yet, or to get an achievement you heard about.
This begs the question again, is it a bad game? Meh, it’s not bad really, but certainly not good by any stretch of the imagination. It has its moments here and there. Probably not $10 worth of moments, but if the price dropped to $5 (my 10 year old son suggested it might be worth $7) it might be worth considering the amount of time you’ll likely spend in the game and enjoyment from it. At $3 I’d certainly suggest it for the pure novelty sake of it. That is perhaps one of the biggest problems, not being worth the price of admission until the price gets cut more than in half.
The developers have said they will fix game crashing bugs, but most of the physics bugs they’ll leave in for humor sake. Which I guess is fine. The game does have a number of bugs, perhaps not game crashing, but certainly irritating. Every update the game resets the screen resolution to the default rather than hold on to whatever you’ve set it to since. They developed a city behind the main map area that is fully built and not just a skybox, but for some reason you can’t explore that area due to an invisible wall, which is never a good mechanic. You want to stop people exploring an area, make it unclimbable, or put something in the way, don’t just let them walk into an invisible wall, or at least not such a big vast one, and certainly don’t tease an area like that. (One could argue Nether does the same thing with the large map areas that can’t be explored yet, with a few of them just being invisible walls, but in that case we know those areas are coming.)
There is Steam Workshop integration, so there’s a chance we might seem some actually interesting content down the line, but most of the stuff so far…
Perhaps one of the most telling things about the game? One of the moments I had the most fun was when I played their flappy bird clone.
TLDR: If it drops to $3 consider it for novelty sake as it is nothing more than a novelty.
If you really want to get it, it is available on Steam.
Want to play a game that is actually funny? Get South Park: Stick of Truth (this link is for the PC Digital Download, but from there you can select physical PC copy, PS3, XBox 360 and collectors editions of all them… Just a word of warning the game is rated M for a reason.