Yeah, I know I said I was done playing games with “simulator” in the title, but that was like, a really long time ago, you know? Look, it’s a busy Saturday and I needed something quick and vapid. That’s really the operative word when interacting with Goat Simulator – vapid. Even after years of upgrades and expansions, there’s really not much to it. It makes sense since the whole thing began as a discarded remnant from a game jam submission.
That was a more innocent time, before self-awareness took hold, opening the flood gates to a seemingly endless number of games designed around being intentionally bad. I liken it to how South Park and Cards Against Humanity both started as something very rudimentary and crass, and then suddenly became a bit too aware of their scope of influence. The creators of Goat Simulator doubled down and made sure you’d continue to see and hear about it, even going as far to make more DLCs in case you felt the need to goat your way through other popular game worlds. I hate to be the kid yelling “sellout” at the top of my lungs, somehow unaware that games are typically made for profit, but there’s a novelty to the Goat Simulator experience that disappears the moment it becomes a known entity, which is why the first five to ten minutes of the game are designed to hit you with as many gags as possible. Most people aren’t expected to hunt down the secrets or do any of the “quests”, treating the score with the same importance that a Whose Line Is It Anyway host would.
I’d be lying if I said that the popularity of Goat Simulator didn’t bother me a little bit. There’s kinda no way to even express that without feeling like an old man behind the times, but internet meme culture is, for the most part, something that I’ve never wanted to interact with, which is difficult to parse as someone intending to make a name for himself on that same internet. You can never really predict what with catch on with people, but as a creator myself, I often hope that there’s at least some correlation between the success of a work and the amount of effort put into it.
Goat Simulator is a dumb thing. Dare I say, it’s a dumb fun thing, but that’s all it is.