Review: Goat Simulator

About this Game

Goat Simulator

Publisher

Double Eleven

Developer

Coffee Stain Studios

Release Date

11 August 2015

Console

PlayStation 4

Time to Plat

~5h

Platinum Difficulty

Easy

Online Trophies?

No

Difficulty Trophies?

No

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I Guess It Was Funny Once

Goat Simulator came out at exactly the right time to be successful and honestly, they could have missed the mark so easily and nobody would even know about it.

When Goat Simulator released in 2014 YouTube gaming was at its peak. It was the Wild West and YouTubers could do what they liked… But what their pre-pubescent audience liked was watching games with stupid physics and zero polish, so along comes Goat Simulator…

6 years later, we got it for Playstation Plus and I eventually forced myself to endure it, these are the results…

Goat Simulator Review

A very lazy approach

It may well occur to you when playing Goat Simulator, that the game looks like a teenager’s G-Mod experiment. And you’d be correct…

Such beautiful attention to detail…

Except the game was made by a full and real development team who had moderate success prior to Goat Simulator with a series called “Sanctum”. Which I have never played, but I can guarantee they never raked in anywhere near as much money as Goat Simulator did thanks to the advent of YouTube Gaming.

I remember that, at the time, the developers would always combat the claim of ‘laziness’ by saying something along the lines of “We know it looks unfinished, and it is full of bugs, but we didn’t want to fix them, we think the game is funnier this way”. 

And in some ways, they are absolutely correct. Games with “janky” physics often result in riotous fun. Take my last review for example, Totally Reliable Delivery Service, that game is a lot of fun, it’s funny and it’s very janky.

Goat simulator, on the other hand, is no fun, is extremely janky and looks like la merde de chien – pardon my French. TRDS doesn’t look bad. It’s a fairly pretty and well-polished game with its own style and personality…

Goat Simulator on the other hand, is full of assets you could easily think were bought from an asset store. The textures don’t fit anything correctly and there are a lot of just – simply put –  laziness. Like flowers which are actually just physics-enabled solid objects you can knock over or huge cardboard cutouts of forests which you can walk right up to, no problem.

Yes, there is a place for things like this in game design, but you’re supposed to make efforts to hide it from the player. It doesn’t make the game funnier because you couldn’t be arsed throwing in a barrier or sharp incline.

The game could easily have been a million times better if a little more effort was put into how the game looks. Give it a spit-shine polish and reign in the physics just a tiny bit and you’d have on your hands more of an actual videogame. Maybe throw in some well-written and humorous narrative to the game, give it a unique art style and bingo-bango, my review wouldn’t be so bad.

I mean, look at the unlockable “goats” for example. Some of these are goats, but then you have the “Classy Goat” for example, which is just a Penguin. Hey, that’s pretty funny, I could have thought to myself. 

However, if you pair the Classy Goat with the Angel Goat ability for example, which just changes your Goat’s texture, then they simply slap the Goat texture onto the penguin. They don’t remap it to the new polys because they’re lazy. And they’re lazy because they sit back and tell themselves “It’s funnier this way”. 

Is that funny? Does that pass for funny?… Man, maybe it did in 2014, we were pretty simple back then when it came to meme culture…

Maybe I’m Getting Old

I do still see the occasional person pop up on r/trophies and they say “This game was hilarious I can’t believe I’ve never played/seen it before”. 

Honestly, I can’t believe it either. I think we’ve all had a phase in our life (especially those between 20 and 28 years old right now) where we’ve had Goat Simulator shoved right under our noses over and over again by our favourite online personalities… Even some who don’t normally play videogames.

And it was at a time when the extent of YouTube entertainment was literally a spotty-faced Shaggy look-alike screaming bloody murder into his filter-less microphone. And we loved that, we ate it up. It was hilarious to us.

Now though, you could hold a Geiger counter up to one of those old videos and the cringe alone would set it off. So maybe that is the reason why I find Goat Simulator to be so exhaustingly un-funny – I just had it ruined for me in my teens.

I just think that there should be more to a game than making everything ragdoll and physics-enabled with the dial turned to 1000.

Just try and figure out what kind of Cronenbergian mess you’re seeing right now.

I won’t go on about it any longer, the game’s ancient history by now and everybody stopped giving a toss about it when PewDiePie stopped screaming over it. Just know that I’m probably just being cynical yet I do think that if the devs had given the game a little tiny bit of love, it could have gone much further.

But, lucky for them, it didn’t need to, and it made over $12 million off the back of 2014 YouTube cringe so… Good for them, I guess.

My Goat Simulator Trophy Experience

There isn’t too much to say when it comes to platting Goat Simulator. It is fairly straight-forward and the trophy list essentially tells you everything you need to know.

It takes about 5 hours to plat Goat Simulator (probably longer if you’re willing to subject yourself to the literal mountains of DLC content which all have trophies) but one of those trophies could take you 1-2 hours alone.

I started the plat way back in January when we actually got it for PS Plus and got about half of the Goatville trophies out of the way. It all basically requires finding a certain thing and licking or headbutting it. In certain cases, it is necessary to gather multiple objects in a location, and you’ll almost always unlock a new goat skin for doing whatever it is you need to do for the trophy.

There are some pretty silly trophy requirements, which is about the most fun you’ll squeeze out of the game.

After a couple of hours, I had become locked out of one trophy because one of the three objects I wanted to find had spasmed out of control and shot off into the stratosphere and I gave Flappy Goat a go before ultimately saying “I’ll do this later I can’t be arsed”.

And I apparently really meant that because it took me 3 months to force myself, with a groan, to grab the controller and finish what I started. 

There were just 3 hours of gameplay left but an hour of that was me getting Flappy Goat out of the way as soon as possible. I do have some useful tips for flappy goat in the next section, but note that it is the game’s worst trophy and the only one which is difficult in the slightest. 

Once that was done I just had to ragdoll around the game’s two locations, looking for collectibles and more.

There are thirty small golden goat trophies hidden around each of the two maps. They’re easy to find but often hard to see.

My second-least favourite trophy was “Is that a Goat?” for which you had to find 6 car batteries hidden in the Goat City Bay level, attach them to the rollercoaster and then lick it. Essentially it gets faster with each battery you locate in the area and then licking it is supposed to attach you to it so that you get swung around like crazy. 

In-fact, licking it is pointless because the rollercoaster is so fast that it either immediately detaches or just launches you a couple of feet the second you get off the ground. Which is nowhere near enough of a “funny” pay-off for the effort it takes to hunt them down and bring them all one by one to the rollercoaster. 

Either way, I platted it and it only took a measly 5 hours with a 4-month break in-between.

Time Breakdown

Everything Else

Flappy Goat

Goat Simulator Flappy Goat Guide

Ah, Flappy Goat brought you here, eh?

It sucks doesn’t it? 

And you’re hoping I can save you from that, tell you Mama’s secret sauce recipe which is going to make popping that Flapmaster trophy a veritable breeze… Well, sorry, but I don’t have the secret winning button combo which will simultaneously pop the trophy for you, but everyone else on the planet as the game mode is eradicated from existence. But that sure would be nice.

No, what I have for you instead is some advice which ultimately helped me. 4 bits of advice, actually:

  • Picture a floor. Using your mind’s eye draw a line from the top of the bottom set of ladders all the way across the screen. You’ll want to be able to visualise this line and then get above it as soon as you can. You want your jumps to be timed so that they occur just above this line, as doing it any higher will mean you’re going to hit the top ladder no matter what.
  • Watch your chin. The annoying thing about the goat’s sprite is that it’s feet are not the bottom of the hitbox. It has this irritatingly enormous chin which hangs below the rest of the body, this is what will hit the bottom ladder. Make sure you’re focusing on that when you time your jumps, because you want to be just a few pixels above that invisible line with the Goat’s chin.
  • Use the Music. This can be difficult, because the actual game’s music is playing alongside the Flappy Goat music and the music from a party downstairs. However, the Flappy goat soundtrack has a beat, which is very useful for timing your jumps.
  • Lift a Finger. Not a joke, I mean it. It was much easier for me to time the jumps correctly when I actually took my finger off the triangle button between each press.
The non-existent floor you’ll need to picture, shown in red in the Photoshopped image above.

Sadly that’s about all the advice I can give you. Other than that, you do need to get somewhat lucky. Going from a gap right at the bottom of the screen to one at the top is very difficult to time correctly and will almost certainly result in a fail. You’re really just going to need to stick with it and keep focused.

Every time I got like 7 out of 10 points I’d relax a bit and tell myself “I’m getting better, I can do this now” but then I’d fail in under 3 points like 20 more times until I shook myself and focused again on the methods above.

That concludes my Goat Simulator Platinum Trophy Review. If you enjoyed reading this review, please do let us know, it means the world to us when we hear feedback and we love engaging with people over the game we just platted. It’s basically the only thing motivating us at the moment!

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Verdict

Pass

I would advise you to Plat the game, but the Flappy Goat trophy requires committing yourself far too much to this essentially incomplete beta test of what could have been a fairly decent game. And if you’re not going to plat it, there really is no good reason to play it either.

Pros

  • There is - at least - a measurably small amount of fun to be had somewhere in this game if it is brand new to you

Cons

  • Lazy development approach
  • Weak sense of humour

Bronze Trophy

Honestly, like I’m going to give it anything better. Don’t play this unless you were one of the few who were insanely good at Flappy Bird. In which case, this is an easy plat for you!

About the Author

More fond of single-player experiences and story-driven games than anything else, TheDblTap has a keen eye for secrets and collectables, a skill which serves him well as a Trophy Hunter. However, with little patience and poor timing, he can struggle where MrZhangetsu would succeed.

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