For anyone who is already familiar with Goat Simulator, you know that this isn’t a serious game. The original release from Coffee Stain Studios lets you run around as a goat, licking, head-butting, or kicking items in the environment, and has been compared to classic skateboarding games in which the goal was to cause as much destruction and mayhem as possible.
A patch was released on November 20, 2014 and introduced an MMO element to the game. At first glance, it appears to be a real MMO, complete with a chat box, other goat characters, quests and enemies, and non-goat characters inhabiting the world. It is really a parody of fantasy MMOs, but one that will entertain MMO fans rather than insulting them. All of the multi-player interactions are simulated, so there aren’t any other players connected to your experience. Despite that, the chat is filled with requests for groups, guilds, and players selling items.
Starting the Game
Your first experience with the game is a load screen with jaunty medievalesque music. The character creation screen appears next and you can choose from six class options: tank, rouge (yes, like the makeup), magician, hunter, microwave, or no class.
I tried all the classes, but my favorites were the rouge and the magician. The microwave class is really a microwave – with legs. Don’t spend too much time debating which to play. Your general progress is saved, rather than any character-specific aspects. If you play a tank to level 10 and then decide to switch to a rouge, your rouge will still start at level 10, with the same quests and exploration completed.
You start out in a pile of dead goats. There isn’t much of a tutorial, but the controls are fairly intuitive for anyone who has played an MMO before. Some of your goat’s special moves are outlined in a graphic on one of the load screens. I did have trouble finding the map – hit Escape to view it.
Each class has the ability to lick objects in the game, as well as two special powers. You can also head butt or kick out with the back legs. I much preferred the head butt, since the kick was awkward to do. My favorite special power was the magician’s fire bawl because it lets you incinerate your targets which was more satisfying than just knocking them down.
Quests and Game Progression
Despite all the bizarre components in the game, you can progress by completing quests and leveling up your goat. Choose to help a distressed cousin escape from a pile of shit, destroy gold harvester golems, or dare to infiltrate the village full of enemy sheep.
The quests are easy to find and vary in their level of difficulty, and the world was large enough to keep me exploring. One down side to the game design was that each time you respawn, you appear back at the original pile of dead goats where you started the game. It was somewhat tedious to always have to retrace your route to get back to a new area. However, your goat can run forever and catapults and bouncy mushrooms can make it fun to be flung through the air to your destination. Don’t be afraid to try things – you can’t die. Your goat is knocked down when injured and you only have to wait a moment before you can stand back up and resume licking or kicking your enemies.
You can earn experience in several ways – complete quests, smash and destroy things, do tricks in the air, complete achievements, or find the hidden golden goat statues. There are 30 of these figurines to discover across the map. Watch out for the other livestock – enemy cows and sheep, but don’t worry about the horses – they’re indifferent to your progress.
The Finer Points of Licking
When your goat licks something, it becomes attached to your tongue and can be dragged around the map. Hit the lick command again to release it. If you make it as far as the elven village of Alvesta, you can discover the quest that requires you to lick 10,000 items. Yes, you read that right – 10,000 licks. What will you get out of this, if you do manage to complete 10,000 licks? Apparently an awful lot of experience. The game caps you at level 50 unless you manage to perform one of a few select achievements that will boost you suddenly to level 101. The licking quest is one way to complete this for the ultimate level cap.
Anything that can be licked can also be stored in your inventory. Don’t worry too much about what to keep though, as your inventory isn’t saved when you exit the game. A few quests do require you to place an item in your inventory, but for the most part, it serves little purpose.
Physics and Bugs
The graphics in Goat MMO Simulator are better than I expected. I did experience a little lag, and some delay in drawing the graphics. The physics is strange and the game is buggy, but this actually adds to the fun in some cases. One time, my goat jumped and kept levitating until I could see the entire goat MMO world beneath me. When I looked around in the sky, I discovered a pair of fish with legs floating in the clouds. I spent some time trying to shoot them with my fire bawls, but to no avail. Eventually I had to respawn, but I was glad to have found the strange sky fish.
The Final Verdict
If you want more of an MMO experience, read the imaginary chat and join in, although no one will answer you. You can also earn special abilities by completing achievements. These include the jet pack, goat queen, goatborn, mermaid goat, or angel goat mutators. Try them out for an added element of wonkiness. The mutators can be used in the other two Goat Simulator games.
While Goat MMO Simulator has limited long-term playability, it is entertaining in short bursts. Available through Steam, it is also inexpensive. You get the entire game which includes the MMO Simulator, the original Goat Simulator, Goatville, as well as the Goat City Bay expansion.Related: Goat MMO Simulator, MMO, Review