A goofy, light-hearted experience that mostly feels janky.
Well lookie here! thepoorassgamer is supposed to be on vacation but, here I go again breaking whatever tenuous oath I made to myself. Truthfully I just needed a break from playing things just to review them, but like I said, I guess I’m not shying away from that either! So with that out of the way, let’s talk about this Goose that’s taking the internet by storm.
Untitled Goose Game – Nintendo Switch $19.99.
I had an interesting time with this Goose game, likely because it fell during a time when I needed to play something less demanding. As we all ease into this next generation of consoles and video games, it’s perfectly wonderful to stop and play something that takes a small amount of effort. Generally speaking, the title speaks for itself despite the unimaginative name. The player assumes the role of a dangerous neighborhood goose terrorizing what seems to be a small town nestled somewhere in Great Britain.
The game itself is rendered in a very simple esthetic, primary, but muted colors and simplified models populate this rich world. The camera is in a fixed position which can cause some headaches in later parts of the game when trying to figure out where to go. Even with this simplified look, items are easily identifiable which ends up being the primary resource needed to complete challenges. I really can’t say enough for how pretty this game is! A lot of the exposure this game is receiving came simply from that style drawing players in. Equally so, simple animations of the characters and the goose provide a lot of good context to what you’re doing in each area.
Now, I’m going to break from the general praise here to talk about the big downfall of this game: it’s core gameplay. Yup, you heard that right, a game about a goose that, simply put, fucks with people, is unfortunately a pretty hollow gameplay experience. Generally speaking your job will consist of grabbing items from unsuspecting people and playing a good game of keep-away. But here’s the problem with that: the goose is meant to control in a way that seems purposefully wild. Simple movements of the stick won’t necessarily move the goose the way you want, it has a huge turning radius, and sometimes trigger controls and button combinations can make executing precise movements excruciating. Another issue lies with the brief challenge descriptions. Pressing the minus button on the Switch opens a journal like page with short descriptions like “Get into the Garden” or “Steal the Toy boat”. Unfortunately this causes a lot trial and error attempting to solve less descriptive challenges. I definitely struggled with the challenge involving dressing up a stone garden bust with multiple items and posing as a stone goose to get gussied up in a red bowtie. Some of these descriptions unfortunately left a lot to the imagination as to how I was going to get those challenges done. I did eventually power through, fumbling with stuff until I completed theses challenges. I did have to look up how to get that damn Farmer to change to his sunhat though. You could break this all down to video game logic and say its just a bit of “figure it out” gameplay, but I don’t know, feels like it could have been executed better. When it comes down to it, I won’t say that I didn’t have a ton of fun playing this game but I had a lot more fun playing this with my brother than I did playing it solo.
This is the perfect game for a small audience. The concept is simple enough for even the most limited game player to enjoy, but again, there’s a big issue with trying to solve some of the game’s later puzzles. While playing this with my brother we both laughed our asses off as we honked and caused terror to this town. But once we advanced to the third area, it became complicated. There’s the initial attraction with seeing this game’s style, then it gets super tedious. Even the AI of these unsuspecting people seem to be able to catch you in any small act. But again, the initial appeal is still worth-wild.
And that’s why I think this game was so attractive to the general video game audience. There’s inherently something at the core of this game that we all know: every single one of us have encountered a pissed off goose. One particular memory I have associated to geese comes from a polite colloquialism used for a park referred to as “Goose Shit Park”. This park attracted huge flocks of geese during the summer-time and needless to say this is the location where my siblings and I were chased away from these crazy bird-brains. I think everyone reading this article has encountered an angry Goose on a walking path, or in a park and had to flee in terror. For real, these geese are no joke.
So should you give this game a shot? It’s hard to say! Some elements make the game super fun and bite sized that it’s perfect for things like Twitter and Instagram. The small act of chasing a school kid around as an angry goose is pretty compelling content. But after all the hilarity there’s a twinge of tedium that makes you want to stop playing altogether, or to pick it up at some other date. I’d highly recommend playing this with friends or family, based on how quick the appeal is, everyone you know should get some enjoyment from either playing or watching this game. In short, there are some rough edges with Untitled Goose Game but plenty of craziness to cause yourself.
Joseph Reyna thepoorassgamer