Goat Simulator was the best game of GDC

GDC 2014: Best game of the show, possibly the only real game at the show

Coffee Stain logoWhen asked what the best game of GDC was, SemiAccurate had to think a bit but Coffee Stain’s Goat Simulator was the only real choice. Yes we are being serious, the only thing that seemed like fun, not to mention a game, at GDC was a goat simulation.

The game itself is possibly one of the last Unreal Engine 3.x masterpieces to be released, and it doesn’t really use much of that engine’s power. In fact it really doesn’t do much, it is just a goat running around a city head-butting things and jumping around until you do something to get it killed. That said it is a lot of fun.

Goat Simulator banner

As you can see, goats appeal to boys and girls

In the Mecca of games that is GDC, it is a kind of sad commentary on the industry that a small indy developer made the best game of the show without actually trying to make a game. They just made a demo for fun and things got a bit out of control. As it says on Coffee Stain’s Goat Simulator site, “OKAY INTERNET YOU WIN, IT LOOKS LIKE GOAT SIMULATOR IS OUR NEXT IP“. Yeah, it wasn’t meant to be a game but things took on a life of their own as the viral greats are wont to do.

Goat Simulator in action on a Gigabyte Brix

Do what goats do best, BAA!

All this said, Goat Simulator is a lot of fun. It isn’t deep. It doesn’t have laz0rz mainly because it isn’t Shark Simulator, and nothing is hidden. In fact it is just what it appears to be, a goat running around doing stupid things. There is no story, no plot, no princess to save, no metagame, and no nothing that make modern games unplayable and barely interactive. It is just a game. And it is fun. Isn’t that what games are supposed to be about? If nothing else, your kids can play it too.

If you want to grab a copy it will be on Steam on April 1 for only $9.99, but beware of the disclaimer, “Goat Simulator is a small, broken and stupid game. It was made in a couple of weeks so don’t expect a game in the size and scope of GTA with goats. In fact, you’re better off not expecting anything at all actually. To be completely honest, it would be best if you’d spend your $10 on a hula hoop, a pile of bricks, or maybe a real-life goat.” It is worth the $10, screw the hula hoop but do consider the bricks seriously.

While both hula hoops and Goat Simulator work well with lots of beer, only one of those has your friends laughing with you. Bricks, beer, and friends are not recommended by SemiAccurate. Not only that but you support a small developer who makes fun games, plus you have an evening of laughs for less than the cost of a movie. A fun game, what a novel concept. In fact that concept is so lacking of late that Goat Simulator was far and away the best thing we saw at GDC.S|A

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Charlie Demerjian

Roving engine of chaos and snide remarks at SemiAccurate
Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and SemiAccurate.com. SemiAccurate.com is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of SemiAccurate.com, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also available through Guidepoint and Mosaic. FullyAccurate