Title: Goat Simulator
Platform: Xbox One (reviewed), Xbox 360, PC, iOS, Android
Developer: Coffee Stain Studios
Publisher: Coffee Stain Studios
Release date: Out Now
Family Focus: Click here for more information.

The ID@Xbox programme has welcomed indie games big and small onto the Xbox One in their droves. Alongside Sony’s work on the PS4, the efforts they’ve done to bring high quality games of all sizes to their consoles have been fantastic on both sides.

Considering ID@Xbox in particular, it’s even brought across the one game that defies all aspects of quality, yet defines it at the same time.

It’s none other than Goat Simulator.

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The game spawned from a month-long game jam at Coffee Stain Studios back in early 2014, then subsequently being ported to smartphones and now the Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Their creators have what is probably the best summary of it:

“Goat Simulator is like an old school skating game, except instead of being a skater, you’re a goat, and instead of doing tricks, you wreck stuff”

That is pretty much it. You are a goat that can do flips, baa at people and headbutt everything in sight. It’s a game of exploring every nook and cranny, where you’ll discover all manners of hidden secrets and unlockable abilities for your esteemed four-legged animal.

‘Goat’ it yet? Y’know… ‘GOAT’ IT?

Ok… Back to the review!

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The Xbox One version that I played retained pretty much every deliberate physics bug and suchlike that characterised the game since its explosion in popularity from YouTubers and the gaming public alike. Objects will fly in unexpected directions and some of the sound assets trigger at shockingly loud levels. Yet, the broken nature of the game is what gives it that character.

In a way, Goat Simulator like that friend you know that seems to always get away with some horrific jokes unscathed. No matter how bad the jokes (or bugs) are, that friend will still have you smiling and laughing.

The XB1 port that I played appears to be exactly the same as its original PC counterpart. There are two maps to explore (GoatVille and Goat City Bay), each with their own mini-games and quests to discover. One personal favourite of mine is a quest to bring a towel with ’42’ printed on it to a crashed UFO. This gives the goat the ability to spawn whales from the sky.

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It was here that I noted that the port was toned down a bit to allow for a wee notion of stability. On the PC version, the game will continue spawning whales ’til your heart is content. Keep going and you’ll eventually crash the game. On the XB1 version, only one whale was allowed on the map at any one time. Obviously, the in-game bouncer was stopping the other whales from getting in because they were wearing the wrong trainers.

Mod support is another thing that’s missing from the console port. It’s a bit of an obvious observation, as any ‘mods’ on a console are just DLC packs, but it is notable nonetheless. The Steam Workshop allowed the game to have a bit of continued value, allowing folks to continue messing around with the game in new ways. With the console version, once you’ve found everything and maxed out your gamerscore, that’s kind of it. Longevity with the port is therefore not a strong point, but then this isn’t really the kind of game that you’ll spend tens of hours playing.

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At the XB1’s cheaper end of the game pricing spectrum though, it still represents good value for a wee chuckle. If you’ve played the game already, there’s very little new for folks to explore. If you haven’t come round to playing Goat Simulator yet though, then this presents a great opportunity to do so.

What Rocks! :)

  • Derpy, deliberately buggy fun that’ll make you chuckle
  • Packed full of mini-games and hidden areas.
  • You get to play as a goat.
  • Goats. Seriously.

What Sucks :(

  • Shelf life is a bit short, you’ll be done with this one once everything’s been explored.
  • I tried to break the game. They fixed the obvious game-breaking bits. Darn.
  • Console version omits the Steam Workshop perk of its older brother

Family Focus

Goat Simulator is rated PEGI 12 and is marked as containing violence. It’s relatively slapstick in its nature though and its violence reduces to a goat head-butting anything and everything.

Game code for review kindly supplied by Xbox UK