An indie gaming gem like Untitled Goose Game comes along every few years taking the gaming industry by storm. Experiences like this shouldn’t be missed, their unique style help the medium of videogames continue to evolve in new, interesting ways. Its success is no accident, the instantly charming and accessible game features a delightfully original concept.
You play as a mischief-making goose intent on creating havoc in a quaint English village. The beauty is in the game’s simplicity; through its art style, gameplay and lighthearted objectives it’s accessible for all ages. Launching in 2019 as a solo experience, the game recently received a free co-op update. You can now make double the mischief with the new local multiplayer mode. All this, in combination with the original experience is worth revisiting over again with our feathered friends.
Untitled Goose Game Review Details
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
Reviewed on: Nintendo Switch
Developer: House House
Genre: Puzzle stealth sandbox
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: E for Everyone
A mischief making sandbox
You start off the game in a nesting area moving into a small sleepy English village where the fun really begins. Make no mistake your goal is to be a horrible goose using tactics like harassment, theft and even bullying to progress through the town. The formula often yields hilarious results with unexpected outcomes. In terms of our feathered protagonist’s behaviour, this is a tale most fowl.
The story in Untitled Goose Game is light, mostly told through players meeting objectives that allow access new areas. These goals come in the form of a “to do” list, offering a non-linear path to completion. This gives players a lot of freedom in how to complete more complicated tasks. Some are straightforward, with others acting like trial and error riddles that you’ll need to pull off in sequence before progressing.
The bell tolls for thee
The creative challenges each area of the town poses can be completed with different approaches. For example, trophy and achievement hunters will enjoy the added “speed running” element to the game. If you complete all “to do” items in a certain amount of time (before the town’s church bells ring) you are rewarded with gamerscore or a trophy.
I enjoyed the extra challenge, taking my time and completing areas slowly then going back and trying to beat the clock. I found this really adds to the intensity and replayability of the game.
A little too short, but sweet
Even with all of this added in I did find my experience with the game was short. In total it took me 4 hours to complete and a lot of that time was spent just getting lost and exploring. The sandbox that developer House House has created is fun to discover, it’s a shame that its over so quickly.
Glorious goose gameplay
The controls are streamlined to match the game’s overall simplified aesthetic. You control your feathered fiend with primarily 3 buttons, it’s all you’ll need to explore the environment. That’s not a knock on the game, quite the opposite, as it makes the overall experience easier to pick up and play. My 6-year-old son and I had a blast playing through the game together. It was accessible enough for him and offered some deeper challenges for me, striking a perfect balance.
One issue the controls presented was being able to precisely grab and move objects. Some of the game’s puzzles require perfectly timed execution and I found I was foiled more often by the select and grab mechanics. Looking past that issue, character movement was executed well, and areas allow you to restart challenges with little consequence.
Through a free, post launch update House House has added two player local co-op to the experience. I originally beat the game solo when it first arrived in 2019 but have since given it another run through with my 6-year-old son. This addition is absolutely fantastic and has really breathed new life into the game.
We’ve had hours of fun going through the experience all over again creating double the trouble. It doesn’t add any new areas or other content but does make for some seriously fun family game time.
I really love the art direction of Untitled Goose Game, the simple, clean, cartoony design is one of its most endearing qualities. Its refreshing to play a game that doesn’t take itself too seriously and doubles down on its own visual charm. The landscapes and environments are fun to explore with each area offering its own style and different paths for completion. The bright pastel colour palette and character models look great and have their own fun quirks. It all adds up to an environment that encourages curiosity and creates lots of laughs.
No fowl physics
Another big standout for the game is the stellar physics, objects move and react as you’d expect them. Your goose glides effortlessly across water, hollowed out objects float and items like garden tools and pumpkins move naturally as you drag them around. The masterful physics engine produced no hiccups in any of my playthroughs, keeping object exactly where I left them. It makes the sandbox that House House has built even more realistic and fun to explore.
Rich sound design
The sound design really adds to the fairy tale-like nature of the overall experience. The entire game is scored with a single piano which subtly layers sound in the background. The audio also builds up based on your actions, if you are chased the piano keystrokes match your frantic escape. On the opposite end if you are slowly exploring, the arrangement matches your leisurely pace. The sound is another key highlight to the Goose Game experience that is executed almost perfectly. It’s another crucial element that has been carefully crafted to bring the entire experience together and succeeded extraordinarily well.
Final thoughts on Untitled Goose Game
Untitled Goose Game is a fun game that offers so many unique elements it’s not to be missed. The gameplay combines stealth, puzzle and sandbox elements into a fresh experience. The game is lovingly crafted from its beautifully clean visuals to near perfect sound design, everything comes together incredibly well. The newly added local co-op mode is a huge plus that really helped keep me get more out of the experience. Although the game is a little short, it’s still a gem that you should definitely not miss out on.
+ Excellent visual artistic style
+ New local co-op added for double the trouble
+ Sound design is excellent
– The overall game is quite short
– The “grab” mechanic is often frustrating to use
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF UNTITLED GOOSE GAME
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4.5/5
Overall Rating 4.5/5 (90%)