It has never been a secret that geese are, to put it mildly, stubbornly persistent. While Scrooge may have had Tiny Tim go fetch him one for Christmas dinner, it is with some justification that geese are infamously portrayed via the stereotype of pugnacious poultry today. For that, Untitled Goose Game has played upon the bothersome nature of a goose and created a game that brings out the mischievous side in all of us.
At its bare bones, Untitled Goose Game is a puzzle game, only there is also an element of stealth involved. Much of the gameplay involves trial and error, moving objects around and putting them in places to see what events might occur. The idea is to manipulate the humans in such a way that their actions open up new possibilities. If you’ve been born with the special ability to ‘annoy,’ then this game will be a breeze, as many of the puzzles are built around frustrating people in the most obvious of ways.
Each level is an extension of the map. When enough tasks in one area have been ticked off, the human in that area will put up a “No Geese” sign, and a gate will be opened for the goose to venture into. Each human has a different personality, which is as humorous as it is clever. Indeed, the stark differences between the irate farmer and the terrified child ensure that the player must employ different tactics to achieve different goals. For instance, the farmer will have no problem chasing you into the pond, while the child is initially hesitant about moving into a puddle.
These different personalities develop further as the game progresses. The most notable of these contrasting personalities are the two neighbors, with their gardens expressing people who clearly live in different worlds separated by a broken fence. As a goose, it becomes apparent that your role in this charade is to cause these differences to create chaos. Hit the giant bell in the lady’s garden to upset the man; drop the lady’s bra in the man’s pool; entice the lady to cut the man’s signature rose. These two personalities will clash, and it’s the player’s job to ensure it happens.
Untitled Goose Game is definitely worth a gander
Untitled Goose Game excels at allowing the player to express a side of themselves that they may have left hidden since their childhood. The impish pranks you probably played on your siblings growing up, finding new ways to annoy the local inhabitants and causing mischief, is what defines this game. The only issue is that the map is so small that the game is completed in around two to three hours. Therefore, Untitled Goose Game is an expensive three hours of mischief that perhaps isn’t worth the price, even though it’s highly enjoyable. Indeed, there is a hope there will be more content added, as this game has so much potential that it would benefit from expanding on the concept further.
Aesthetically, Untitled Goose Game deserves a lot of credit. While it uses extremely minimal UI and chunky, bold colors to create a peaceful village (that will be disrupted by a goose), the personality is still easily conveyed, from the way the goose waddles to the frustration of the villagers. In many ways, the simple palette of colors mixed with its comedic approach shows that some of Untitled Goose Game’s inspiration may have come from mid-20th-century cartoons.
While the price remains steep, if you have money and three hours to spare, Untitled Goose Game is definitely worth a gander. The fun might be short-lived, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more enjoyable three hours. There are a few glitches; notably, a green screen can happen when the game doesn’t load between areas quickly enough, resulting in a restart. However, the game saves regularly enough for it to not be too much of a bother. Certainly doesn’t ruin the experience enough not to give this goose a try.