Untitled Goose Game Review
Developer: House House
Release Date: 20 September 2019
Price: $19.99 / £17.99
HONK! What was that? A new indie game for Nintendo Switch where the protagonist lives to irritate. And you're... a goose?! The latest title from House House and Panic Inc (publishers of Firewatch) brings a fresh new entry to the puzzle genre.
Untitled Goose Game begins with a simple menu and a rather delightful piano soundtrack. Starting the game places you in a short tutorial space so you can learn how to properly manoeuvre your feathered friend.
The controls are easy to get a hang of - even the fantastic dedicated honk button (pro tip: if you pick up a jar, your honk becomes muffled). As you flap off into the world, ducking under trees and floating down rivers, the plain but pleasant graphical style makes each foray into the world a pleasant one.
There’s not much in the way of sound other than the slapping of goose feet, but a piano will start up as you come into contact with other characters to accentuate the action.
Untitled Goose Game has four main levels for you to wreak havoc in. You're given a list of things to do, most of them involving springing mayhem upon unsuspecting victims.
How you go about accomplishing this is up to you, as there are multiple ways to go about your assignments of annoyance. For instance, one objective tasks you with getting a man’s slippers wet. Instead of stealing them and dropping them into a pond, you can get him to chase you and walk into it instead. Job done!
Completing your list adds an extra task for you to take on in each part of town. Upon completing the main story, a couple of 'To Do (As Well)' lists are unlocked, as well as some timed challenges - adding fresh elements to your rapturous rampage.
You can simply wander around and honk at people if you wish for a while too, as there are no time limits or blocked paths in the main areas. It’s a testament to how simple yet brilliantly executed this game is that just wandering around honking at people is this much fun.
The sheer expectation for this goosy gander have ensured it’s garnered quite a cult following already. Releasing the same day as Link's Awakening cannot be easy, but this little feisty gem holds its own, and the rapturous fan base who’ve been crafting artwork and are already speculating about possible add-ons to the game will be pleased with the results.
Speaking of, there is plenty of room for expansions. The game is on the shorter side, but the addition of different unlockable geese, new levels and challenges, even an online multiplayer option are all possibilities that could significantly extend the lifespan of the game. It’s too much fun to be left as is, so one would hope that House House will address the game’s only minor shortcoming by dropping additional content further down the line.
Untitled Goose Game is an absolute delight. Short, sweet and a great new idea for the puzzle and stealth genres. Well worth a play for anyone with a spare few hours and the need to aggravate unsuspecting village dwellers.
Pros & Cons
+ Brilliantly original idea
+ Just tons of fun
- Quite short