Goat Simulator: The GOATY is the kind of game you'll either get or you won't. It's either a hilarious way to kill time and affect some form of skill amid the chaos, or it's just a jumped up joke that's outlived the laughter. Wherever your thoughts might ultimately land, there's no denying that Coffee Stain Studios has produced something quite unlike anything else on Nintendo Switch. And with every expansion released to date included with this new port, you're getting the definitive edition right there on your hybrid console.
So what exactly is Goat Simulator? Well, you control a goat (shock horror) that runs around various locales causing as much wanton destruction as it's possible for one four-legged beast to unleash. You can build up speed and headbutt scenery and people by holding 'ZR', jump with 'B', flip your body by holding 'ZL' and moving the left analog stick and grab onto things with your tongue via 'Y'. Yes, it sounds stupid, and it is stupid, but that's kind of the point.
While it's received substantial updates in the form of multiple themed expansions – all of which are included here on Switch – the game still retains the buggy, physics-driven crudeness that's made it so famous/infamous. In some ways, Goat Simulator is like a rougher version of the Skate games. While you're not trying to pull off sick tricks on two wheels, the angle and position of your goaty avatar determine just how many points you'll score. From doing backflips off the roof of a house to headbutting your way through a glass-surrounded office building, it takes quite a while to nail the subtle balance needed to land with all four hooves on the ground and keep your multiplier going.
The main Goat Simulator game revolves around this desire to rack up points and combos in various over-the-top ways, leading to some of the most bizarre activities you'll likely ever partake in on Switch. You'll smash up a BBQ and set people on fire for maximum points; you'll use a trampoline to launch into a building site and send workmen flying like skittles; you'll try to ride a bike – as a goat, obviously – through traffic and cause untold mayhem. There are even rolling objectives to complete that range from the simple (knock down some pedestrians) to the more long-winded (collect 30 golden goat statues).
Alongside the main mode, there are four extra expansions that take that same silly template and add a few extra factors for your goat to smash up. There's Goat MMO Simulator, GoatZ, Payday and Waste of Space. Sounds like a weird bunch, right? You'd be absolutely right, and it suits Goat Simulator down to the ground. Those modes simply give you a little more structure; for instance, Waste of Space sees you raising money to repair a space station by, naturally, headbutting and kicking people until they drop their cash in sheer fear. You can even teleport yourself across a room – because at this stage, why not?
Goat MMO Simulator might be wearing its love of The Elder Scrolls on its sleeve, but don't expect a mode worthy of the Dragonborn. Instead of tracking multiplied points and an overall score counter, this expansion translates it into XP and levels. It's basically the same thing, but coupled with mutators that enable you to take on a variety of RPG-style classes, each with their own set of unique skills. You can also play a microwave on legs. Don't ask why; you just can. Along with Waste of Space, it's one of the better additions and actually feels like something approaching a proper game. You can also head out and explore its naff-looking fantasy world and complete quests for NPCs, but while it's a more applied use of Goat Simulator's mechanics, its paper-thin application doesn't hold up for long.
The end result is a game with multiple personalities and vastly contrasting levels of quality. Even if you find the original Goat Simulator a bore, there's some genuine sense of structure and – dare we say it – depth to the world of MMO Simulator, while Waste of Space is considerably more enjoyable thanks to its money-collecting objectives. But for its silliness, you'll eventually start to tire of its bargain bin design, and even the extra modes can't give it the longevity it badly needs.
Goat Simulator: The GOATY is a definitive edition of Coffee Stain Studios' slapstick destruction simulator, and as such, it's a mixed bag that varies wildly in quality. The base modes are fun for about five minutes, and there's only so much entertainment to be had from launching a farm animal from the top of a roller coaster before it becomes dull. The Waste of Space and MMO Simulator expansions are decent fun in their own right thanks to a greater sense of structure, but the purposefully crude mechanics will start to grate after a while. This is a package that arguably works best as a smartphone proposition for when you've got five minutes to kill; when placed on a proper console with many more worthy uses of your time, it all starts to feel more than a little inconsequential.