Untitled Goose Game (Switch, PC)

Thanksgiving is this month, but instead of turkey, you may want to eat goose instead after playing this game.  Untitled Goose Game is a unique and original comical stealth action game where you play as a goose out to cause mischief and mayhem to humans in a small town setting.  It’s available to download on Switch and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

As the titular goose, you waddle around areas in an overhead perspective.  You can press a button to pick up nearby objects with your beak.  Another button makes you lower your neck, which is handy for going under obstacles and picking up objects low to the ground.  There’s also a button to flap your wings, which isn’t really used much, but there is also a dedicated button for honking!  Yes, honking!  Useful when you want to startle someone or get their attention.  The game does a good job at introducing you to the controls at the beginning of the game, too.

In each area of the game, you’ll have a list of things to do that you can view by pressing the Select button.  These include things like stealing a gardener’s keys, turning on a sprinkler to make him wet, stealing food to make a picnic, chasing a boy into a phone booth, making a man fall into a box of tomatoes, and more!  Once you cross off most of the items on a list, another couple will pop up.  And when you complete one of those, it’ll open up the next area.  And the buildup at the end of the game is great!

While the game is very unique and loads of fun and has been a phenomenon on the internet, it isn’t without its problems, though.  There are only five small areas in the game, so it’s a bit short.  Granted you do get one final list of extra hard things to do after you beat the game, so there is some replay value, but you’ll still be able to run through the game rather quickly.  And sometimes the goals and objectives aren’t very clear.  Even I had to look up what to do in a guide a couple of times.  And while they do explain the basic controls very well, there are times where you need to press a button to stand perfectly still like a lawn ornament, or hide in a box, and the game isn’t very explicit about what button to push to do that.

But otherwise, the game is so unique and fun and charming and weird!  The simple piano music speeds up and slows down to match the actions on screen, and the basic graphics remind me of other games like Katamari Damacy (which just adds to the weirdness).  One thing’s for sure, Untitled Goose Game is a honking good time while it lasts!

Kid Factor:

I’m surprised this game didn’t get an ESRB descriptor of Comic Mischief, since that’s what this game is all about.  You can scare someone into making them hammer their thumb, and make another man fall on his bum, but that’s about as violent as the game gets.  I would’ve thought one of the humans would pull out a gun and shoot that horrible goose, but the worst they do is just shoo it away with a broom.  You certainly wouldn’t want your kids imitating the behavior of this goose, but I think kids would just giggle and laugh at the goose’s antics instead.  Reading skill is helpful for the text, and younger gamers may get frustrated at some of the unclear goals.  Untitled Goose Game is rated E for Everyone.

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