Every gamer has dreamt of creating their own game at least once. The thrill of creating a whole world from nothing or building dynamic characters and unique types of gameplay is endlessly appealing. Apart from those who went to school to achieve that goal, the rest of us became consumers of the games released by titanic companies and studios, such as Blizzard and Valve. But these businesses are not the sole proprietor of unique gaming experiences. The dreamers who decided to act on that desire to create band together and build inconceivable video games under the title of “indie games.”
Indie games, short for independent video games, are a part of a genre filled with outside-the-box content created by individuals or small groups. Things you would never expect to be brought to the cutting edge of gaming are developed by indie groups. Games that feature building and running your own prison like “Prison Architect” or games like “Rust” that challenge you to survive when stranded, or task you to escape daunting dungeons as a meatball like in “Super Meat Boy” all fall under the indie category. Even the popular “Minecraft” is an indie game. Because of the nearly invisible boundaries surrounding the indie scene, gamers can always expect something new and unique to play.
Two weeks ago, on April 1, Coffee Stain Studios, an indie team, graced the Internet with the outrageous “Goat Simulator.” Social media promptly erupted over the content of the game. The game features a goat as player one. Starting in your pen, you can do whatever your little goat heart desires, whether it be peaceful grazing, or destroying vehicles with a swift head-butt. “Goat Simulator” promotes an open world with as many hidden treats as there are bugs in the game’s code. That is not to say it is a bad game, in fact, the bugs add to the hysteria that ensues while playing and developers have no plans to fix them for that very reason.
What allure could this game possibly have if all you do is run amok as a goat? The fact is that running amok is what the game is about. There is no progression apart from a score counter that tallies points as you do various things, like licking people or jumping a fence. However, the game is packed with nuances that, once discovered, add additional dimensions of play and enjoyment. If you are getting tired of walking everywhere, players can stumble upon the jetpack and fly through the skies uncontrollably as a goat, which is good for a laugh. If you are tired of not having enough horns on your little goat-y head, try to find a pentagram and perform a classic demonic ritual with your goat brethren to improve your appearance, psychic powers and to get elastic tongue.
For the most part, the buzz caused by this game comes from the absurdities within.You will get the same amount of fun from this game as you would expect from playing “Grand Theft Auto”for the first time. Everything seems normal for a goat simulation until the car you ram into at a low speed explodes, or you drag pedestrians into the artificial gravity facility by your tongue or you discover the goat castle, wherein dozens of goats have awaited your return to the throne. All in all“Goat Simulator” is a gem because of its one-of-a-kind concept, coupled with deviant gameplay options.
This is not the only kind of outlandish game available. Gamers familiar with Steam, Valve’s PC software that brings an online game store right to your computer, have access to hundreds of indie games with even more peculiar content. The best part is a portion of your game purchase goes right to the indie team responsible for the game, so you can feel well in supporting a small team of dreamers.