Untitled Goose Game – a game where you play like a goose waddling through a small English town and ruining everyone’s day – feels like a miniature version of Hitman, but with mischief instead of murder. As with those games, it’s all about learning an environment inside and out and figuring out how to play different people and systems against each other to achieve your goals. You wander between four small, scenic locations and check off-targets off your list by wreaking havoc on the people you meet and generally being a nuisance. This is our Untitled Goose Game Review.
Untitled Goose Game Review: About
- Platform: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows, Mac OS, Macintosh
- Developer: House House
- Publisher: Panic
- Genres: Puzzle, Stealth
- Release Date: September 20, 2019
Untitled Goose Game Review: Official Trailer Video
Untitled Goose Game Review: Gameplay
At first, you annoy a man as he leans toward his yard, turns on his sprinklers while standing over them, steals the keys from his gate, destroys his products, and generally gets in your way. The game continues as the goose’s to-do list demands that it upset most of the people it encounters. By working the game, you need to figure out how each element interacts with everything else and how to bring together different people, who all react differently to the goose.
It is primarily a comedy. Figuring out how to achieve each goal can be essential to your progress, but the real fun is seeing how tricky you can make everyone. If you need to make a man spit out his tea, steal his shoes, and ruin his yard, you may start to feel sorry for him, but you also don’t want to terrorize him anymore. The goose can only run, grab things, honk and flap its wings, but a combination of these actions allows you to manipulate the people you meet and cause chaos.
The humor of Untitled Goose Game is built into the mechanics and animations; seeing the goose waddling, honking, and fluttering its wings is intrinsically amusing and satisfying, even before you start causing mischief because of how entirely suggestive it is from a real bird. The clean, colorful visual style is also a treat. But the reactive soundtrack is what sells the goose’s charm. Based on Claude Debussy’s Prélude, the music comes into action dynamically based on the activities of the goose, accentuating moments when it shocks someone and adding buoyancy to any scene with a chase.
The goals you need to complete often require some lateral thinking. It’s very entertaining to get into the goose headroom and figure out how a few actions can lead to something that’s going to annoy one of your goals. Sometimes it is immediately clear what to do, and sometimes the solution is more abstract, but most goals mention an object that you can find in the environment. For example, in the second location you will be told to “go on TV” – the solution is not immediately clear, but finding the TV to communicate with is not difficult.
You have to complete all but one goal in each location to progress, which is a nice concession as it means you can move to the next area even if one of the puzzles just doesn’t click for you. Sometimes it’s just a matter of figuring out what to do and then doing it. Still, you also need to practice a degree of finesse: the goose can’t get too close to someone trying to scare it away, and you often have to sneak are, sneaking under tables, causing distraction and hiding behind bushes and boxes like a long-necked, web-toed Solid Snake.
Each area also has a mission retrieval goal, which requires you to collect different items and put them in one place while making sure you don’t get caught. These goals are generally the least fun because too much is left to the imagination; the first asks you to “picnic” by dragging some specific items onto a picnic blanket. However, once you do, the goal is immediately completed, with no additional vignettes or animations to reward all that effort.
Untitled Goose Game’s best goals reward you not only with a sense of accomplishment but with a fun, charming interaction between the goose and the people it encounters, whether that means looking at a guy with a bucket on his head walking around or looking at someone else, they feel tired that their favorite hat is gone.
Untitled Goose Game is also extremely short. When I reached the end, I was amazed at how little time it took – I only played for about two hours. Luckily, after the credits, you unlock a new list of goals on the now fully unlocked map. Still, there isn’t the same incentive to complete them if you know you’re not rewarded with a new location to explore, or even, necessarily, new ones. Interactions. Most are twists on previous goals or more complicated versions of things you’ve already done, often moving items between different locations.
However, I am happy that these additional objectives are there, and I have enjoyed them a lot. It’s just a shame there isn’t much left because Untitled Goose Game ends long before I felt like I had had enough or seen everything the game would throw at me. Being short isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but Untitled Goose Game’s playground can get bigger. I wish I could keep driving to unlock new areas and mess around with new people, and it still felt like there was enough room to escalate things.
Despite all the jerkiness I performed, my favorite moment in Untitled Goose Game was the only scene where the game leaned into the goose’s charms. I followed two people for a chat in the pub and pressed the honking button. The two women looked shocked but much less hostile than most of the characters I had come across. When I was standing in a specific spot, they mimicked the commands I had to execute, fulfilling one of my goals and delighting the two women.
Most importantly, Untitled Goose Game is a hoot. It is a comedy game that focuses on making the game fun rather than merely being a game of jokes. Wishing it was longer says how much fun I had with it. Nothing beats Untitled Goose Game review; it’s charming and cute despite being mean, and both very stupid and very smart. It is also probably the best non-racing game ever with a dedicated horn button.
Untitled Goose Game – a game where you play like a goose waddling through a small English town and ruining everyone’s day – feels like a miniature version of Hitman, but with mischief instead of murder.