DEEEER Simulator – Review
Follow Genre: Open world game, sandbox game
Developer: Gibier Games
Publisher: Playism, Active Gaming Media
Platform: PC, Switch, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Tested on: Switch

DEEEER Simulator – Review

Site Score
7.4
Good: A constant stream of absurd and funny surprising moments
Bad: Audio can get really annoying when there is a lot of on-screen action
User Score
9.0
(1 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Don’t let the full title deceive you: DEEEER Simulator: Your Average Everyday Deer Game is *not* what it claims to be. Instead, Japanese developer Gibier Games are offering pure, unadulterated absurdity with antlers in this open world sandbox title. It’s not often that we finish a video game session utterly baffled over the madness that unfolded before our very eyes. Of course, delivering insanity is one thing, but can the titular deer also deliver fun?

Story

The opening cutscene sees your self-created character sacrifice himself to rescue a doe from being hit by a truck. For this selfless act, your character gets a chance to be reïncarnated as a deer. Soon enough, you find yourself as a completely ordinary deer living out your everyday deer life on the outskirts of a perfectly normal bustling city… or so it seems. As soon as you start wandering around, you’ll start to see that the world of DEEEER Simulator is anything but normal. There is no story beyond the initial premise, but this is one of those rare cases where there doesn’t need to be one.

Graphics

With a game like DEEEER Simulator, it’s difficult to say whether the poor graphics are deliberate or the result of poor polish. Character model movement is janky, clipping through other objects is very common and the game’s textures are flat and incredibly simple. It all adds to the overall appeal however, as if it’s part of the joke. Because of the fast pace of the game and the frantic action happening at any given time, we understand the need for simplified visuals too. This is not to hamper performance too much when multiple things are happening on screen. It’s still easy enough to distinguish what’s going on on-screen, thanks to the use of cel-shaded graphics, and given that the overall art style fits the game’s atmosphere, we’re willing to be lenient here and give the shoddy graphics a pass.

Sound

The game’s audio is just as bad as the visuals, but it’s more difficult to be lenient here as the game’s techno OST combined with the cacophony of gun sounds, animal cries and explosions ends up being more of an annoyance than something enjoyable, even as a joke. The game makes liberal use of stock sounds and repeats them ad infinitum. Because there is often a whole lot of stuff happening on the screen at the same time, it’s common that the soundscape drowns your ears in overlapping soundbytes. We’d recommend muting the audio, but then you wouldn’t be able to hear when the cops are behind you. If you’re eager to play DEEEER Simulator, then having to deal with annoying audio is part of the deal, unfortunately.

Gameplay

When you first boot up DEEEER Simulator, you are presented with an impressively expansive character creation tool, which even allows you to adjust the circumference of your character’s neck. It’s all part of an elaborate joke, however, because as soon as you finish creating your perfect avatar (or simply hit randomize), the opening cutscene plays and your character dies, never to be seen again in human form. It’s a setup that perfectly encapsulates what DEEEER Simulator is all about: it’s an open world sandbox game that continuously defies common sense and instead presents the player with an increasingly bizarre and trippy world filled with nonsensical situations and absurd creatures.

After a brief explanation of the game’s controls, you are left to freely explore the sandbox environment. The ultimate goal of DEEEER Simulator is to clear a list of objectives, but the game never makes a point of telling you that there is a list in the first place. Combined with the increasingly bizarre situations you are confronted with, the first few minutes of DEEEER Simulator will probably leave you wondering just what the hell is going on. There is very little in this game that makes sense, and the high pace with which the game continues to defy logic can make it hard to keep up. It’s all very confusing, but fortunately, it’s also very funny. The game relies on ragdoll physics, and it can be difficult to control the deer, especially while you’re driving one of the many vehicles, but this only adds to the chaos.

DEEEER Simulator is basically an absurdist version of Grand Theft Auto: playing as the titular deer, you are able to hijack vehicles and mounts, recruit humans into your herd by ‘deerifying’ them and mount a surprisingly large arsenal of weapons to your head. As you wreak havoc across the city, you’ll raise the ‘deersaster’ level, which will attract the attention of the police: a menagerie of other critters ranging from sheep with batons up to rabbits with laser mounted sniper rifles. One of the main goals of DEEEER Simulator is to get the ‘deersaster’ level up to A, something we didn’t quite achieve as it’s easy to get killed, and not just by the police. One of the many possible causes of deaths is getting fried by the laser eyes of a giant koala, for example.

It seems like there is a constant stream of new things to discover too, whether it’s an enormous zebra mount, a tiger mech, or a toaster that literally turns the deer into a sentient slice of bread. It even has its own minigame where you play Othello against a cow -but the twist is that the board game pieces are replaced by cows that wander around the gameboard rather than remaining stationary. Not only does this offer a nice change of pace from the madcap action, but sitting down for this also resets the ‘deersaster’ level, allowing for a breather if things get too frantic. We’re not quite sure how much time you can spend in DEEEER Simulator before you’ve seen everything the game has to offer, but it feels like we’ve only barely scratched the surface.

Of course, a game like this has to make sure it doesn’t overstay its welcome. Sure enough, we found that DEEEER Simulator is a title that is best enjoyed when there is an audience, and that it loses a lot of its luster when you’re playing it by yourself. It’s a game that seems to have been designed for Twitch streamers, but we spent our time with the game in the company of a few friends on the couch. This is a game that we won’t recommend if you’re never going to play it in the company of others, as this particular brand of humor can grow stale quickly, but if you’re looking for something that’s fun to watch or to play with your friends commenting and telling you where to go next, then you could do far worse than DEEEER Simulator.

Conclusion

DEEEER Simulator may not be an accurate reflection of deer life, but it’s an incredibly fun interpretation of it. Annoying audio aside, this is a game that manages to make you laugh like a madman at its sheer absurdity. Given that it’s difficult to determine how much of the game’s degree of roughness is deliberate and how much of it is a happy coincidence, it’s difficult to judge DEEEER Simulator by the same standard as other games. We’re willing to give Gibier Games the edge of doubt21, and recommend the final result.

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Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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DEEEER Simulator - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
SebastiaanRaats


1 Comment

  1. 3rd-strike.com | Kraken Academy!! – Review
    April 4, 2022, 01:01

    […] it’s the absolute nonsense of DEEEER Simulator or the story-driven approach of About an Elf, we’ve certainly seen quite a bit of outright weird […]

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