Ever wanted to be a mischievous goose and just be annoying? No? Well, now you can! From Australian developers House House, Untitled Goose Game is a wacky adventure of a goose that is simply out to cause as much mayhem as possible. It’s a simple concept, but it’s one that has resonated with fans and now we get to see whether the game speaks (honks) for itself.
If I was forced to define Untitled Goose Game to a genre, I would have to say that it is a physics-based puzzle stealth game. Pick up and interact with objects, distract people and complete all of your objectives to proceed to the next set of tasks. Your objectives are all laid out in dot points on a single lined piece of paper. At the end of the day, your goal is to simply be as chaotic and nonsensically annoying as possible, with tasks like “get the groundskeeper wet” and “rake in the lake”.
Untitled Goose Game does a great job at providing more than one solution to an objective, allowing the player to continue interacting with as much as they can until they reach a solution. You may enter a new area and think “how am I supposed to that?”, but persistence and experimentation is the key to victory.
Once the credits have rolled, you are presented with additional challenges that allow you to replay through the levels. This works great for those who are looking for more. However once those challenges are completed, the game doesn’t do much in terms of replayability aside from timed challenges.
I did find that there were a few possible scenarios that forced me to press reset in the pause menu (I locked myself out of the garden – whoops). This would have been frustrating, but the developers thought ahead with a reset option and even though your mess will be cleaned up, your objectives that you have completed remain crossed off.
The game can be a little too slow paced for its own good, often having to wait for NPCs to perform certain actions before you can do a follow-up attempt. On the other hand, it does help to keep the game at a relaxing pace, so it comes down to personal preference in the end.
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The HD Rumble is nice and subtle, with a little shock of vibration when the goose honks. It’s not much, but it’s a nice touch that we at Switchaboo always like to see.
Each segment creates a layout that specifically highlights the objectives that you need to complete. As mentioned above, there are sometimes multiple ways to complete an objective and you can often use whatever is at your disposal to make it happen.
Proceeding from one area to the next, there are no loading screens. It all happens seamlessly as upon completing your to-do-list, a gate will open within the game’s context and you can proceed onwards. This all makes the game-world feel that much more interconnected and not like you’re just jumping from one level to the next. It’s that extra bit of detail that separates the great games from good ones.
Throughout the game, I kept thinking to myself that things would be so much more convenient if there was a map. Even a little small one tucked away in a corner. I also found it odd that you couldn’t move the camera and whilst everything is laid out in a way that is viewable from a front angle, the right analogue stick could’ve been used to pan and survey your surroundings. It seemed that I often found myself trying to regain my bearings, but you can zoom in and out at fixed levels, which is something at the very least.
You’re a goose and you’re trying to be annoying… what more do you want?
But in all seriousness, Untitled Goose Game doesn’t have a ‘plot’, per se. You’re a goose and your motivation is to ruin everyone’s day. This adds to the wacky randomness of the game, where not everything has to be spelt out to the player. It’s best not to ask questions, just sit back and ensue unprovoked mayhem in all its nonsensical glory.
Graphics / Art Direction
Untitled Goose Game has a simplistic cartoon art style that deliberately chooses to lack shading detail, making everything pop. It makes every object distinguishable and being able to zoom in if you’re unsure is a definite bonus.
The goose’s animations are spot on, moving exactly the way you’d expect a real goose to move. This may seem obvious, but it really adds to the game’s presentation and its comedic appeal will often have you in stitches.
Music / Sound Design
Untitled Goose Game’s soundtrack is subtle, focussing more on sound effects that play their own role in the gameplay. The intensity of the piano is heightened when you have been spotted and varies depending on the severity. It’s a textbook method without needing to pay attention to any visual indicators.
The pitter-patter of the goose’s feet is oddly satisfying, with thump-thumps when walking on pavement and the rustling of grass underneath. Couple that with pleasant sound effect of birds chirping when you’re stationery and it feels like something out of an ASMR YouTube video.
Final Score: 86%
Definitely take a gander at Untitled Goose Game. It’s a wacky adventure that will have you smiling from ear-to-ear all the way throughout. The comedic antics, coupled with the stealth puzzle gameplay, blends well and whilst the adventure may be over sooner than you’d like, this Untitled Goose Game will leave you looking back with nothing but fond memories.
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- Belinda Cubitt