Do you remember a time during your childhood years where you incessantly pushed the buttons of a sibling, a cousin, a friend, or even just another kid at school? Your goal wasn’t necessarily to be a nuisance; rather, you just wanted to obtain a reaction for your own amusement. That feeling practically sums up the whole of Untitled Goose Game from developer House House. From the beginning, the promise of this title was clear: play as a goose and be a complete a**hole to the humans you come into contact with. Untitled Goose Game certainly delivers on that promise.
The Nintendo Switch has much to celebrate at the moment, as this year has unleashed a host of major first-party titles on the hybrid console. Untitled Goose Game, however, is a refreshing and quality experience that demonstrates the Switch’s continued prowess in the industry as a home for excellent third-party indie titles. As any of the promotional material clearly shows, the basis of the game is simple. Players take control of a goose making its way around the environment by accomplishing a list of to-do tasks that stoke the ire of the human occupants. These could include a farmer, a grocery store owner, a lady cultivating her yard, or any other human in need of a good lesson in patience.
Hell hath no fury… like a curious goose
There is no game-ending scenario. Unlike most games these days, the player can’t “die” or receive a “losing” screen. If humans spot you amidst your antics, they’ll only run after the goose to take back whatever object was stolen or fix whatever mayhem it had started. It’s then up to the goose to figure out another way to accomplish the task before the human can intervene.
To-do tasks include pesky actions such as throwing a gardener’s rake in the pond, stealing a grocery basket filled with items that the goose must pluck off the shelves, and even causing one unsuspecting woman to mistakenly cut her neighbor’s prize rose. As a list of tasks is completed, some event occurs that opens a pathway to a new area and an entirely new set of tasks.
Some of these tasks are puzzles by nature, as players must figure out what to have the goose do to spur the humans into taking a certain action. Humans mostly react how one would expect them to. On occasion, the human AI wasn’t entirely on par with the situation at hand, though, becoming somewhat inconsistent in their reactions. And, only once, I did experience a glitch where a human pushed me through a fence into another yard by shoo-ing me away from the other side. Otherwise, the game was smooth-sailing with no hiccups.
The majesty of avian mayhem
Untitled Goose Game is charming by design. The visual art style is simple and colorful. The goose moves as naturally as a goose does. But once you take control of the animal, it becomes easy to visualize its curiosity as it raises and lowers its head or slowly waddles under the cover of some foliage before rushing out to snatch a radio off of a table. Consequently, the bird is imbued with its own silly sense of character. Instead of standing and staring at a goose in your local pond, quizzically wondering what’s going on behind those beady eyes, now you are the goose. You can now affix your own intentions behind its movements, which adds a level of charm.
The screen is easy on the eyes and isn’t cluttered with options, scores, or life bars. It’s just you and a goose. The controls are straightforward and not hampered by any complexities. A young child could manage the controls of this game with ease. And the piano-led musical backdrop narrates what happens on screen perfectly. The keys are soft, gentle, and calming when the goose is navigating the world. Then the music adds spunky accents to the melody as the bird becomes mischievous. And the tune evolves to a level of cartoonish intensity once humans catch the goose red-handed.
Untitled Goose Game‘s consistent, simple themes are not dull by any stretch. In fact, the entire basis of the game revels in its simplicity, making this title easy to pick up, enjoy, and have a few laughs along the way. Completing one list of tasks left me yearning for the next list of hilarious assignments as I waddled to the next area. The only drawback to the game’s simplicity is that replayability is likely not in the cards once you’ve experienced all the quirky scenarios it has to offer. Still, Untitled Goose Game is great fun and completely worth its value for that one experience.
Release Date: Sep 20, 2019
No. of Players: 1 player
File Size 802 MB
Category: Action, Puzzle
Developer: House House
A review code was provided by the publisher.