“It’s a lovely day in the village, and you are a horrible goose.”
An apt description as provided by game developer House House about their recently released game, “Untitled Goose Game”.
Released Sept. 20 for Windows, Mac OS, and Nintendo Switch, “Untitled Goose Game” allows players to take control of the titular goose, causing mischief and trouble for the denizens of a quiet English village.
Making a farmer hammer his own hand, terrorizing a child to trap them in telephone booth and sneaking into a pub to steal a pint glass are only a few of the dastardly tricks you get up to as a goose.
Each section of the village comes with its own “To-Do” list of tasks that the goose must complete to move onto the next section.
However, it is the players choice as how to accomplish these tasks.
Players have several options to complete the given tasks like ducking low to the ground and hide in shrubbery or going in large with your wings fully spread out to terrorize the villagers and complete the task all the same.
The charm of the game comes primarily from the different ways of accomplishing these tasks and seeing the reactions of the villagers.
The charm is also assisted by the simple art style. Environments and character models are all simplified down to one or two colored flat objects.
Character models for the villagers follow a basic model design with the only features of the villagers being a nose and often facial hair or glasses, bit with no eyes or mouth.
Unfortunately, the charm can wear off rather quickly.
Aside from being a short game with a 100% completion time of no longer than three hours, the novelty is not something that every player can enjoy for long periods of time.
The $20 price tag may by a high cost as well for players who believe a short game should be cheaper.
These two factors combine to create the downfall of the game in the eyes of those who feel this way, as the enjoyment of playing relies almost solely on the novelty of the experience.
In order to enjoy the game, potential buyers might be better off watching YouTube “let’s players” and streamers on Twitch and Mixer have a blast in entertaining both themselves as well as the audience.
When played alone, “Untitled Goose Game” can evoke a few laughs here and there, but the experience is much better enjoyed when shared with others to laugh along with.
Along with the novelty wearing off, the game isn’t very substantial in what it brings to the table.
The gameplay entirety consists of controlling the goose with controls reminiscent of “tank controls” seen in survival horror games like “Resident Evil.”
This means that rather than turning on a dime with a simple change of direction on the analog stick, your goose slowly walks in an obtuse circle to face the direction the player desires.
This can be especially frustrating for those relying on stealth and secrecy as they try out new tactics of foul play.
The only other controls the player will find themselves with are the ability to lower the goose’s head to reach objects closer to the ground, a “honk” button to startle villagers and the ability to open your wings — although the latter control choice has no actual influence on gameplay and is merely incorporated as a gag.
“Untitled Goose Game” is an oddity in the world of indie games. Well, rather, a larger oddity than a large majority of other indie titles.
Even the title itself evolved from an in-joke between developers and fans as the games trailer and demo had been released before the game was given a proper name.
In spite of the umbrage that a few players have demonstrated over the past few weeks, “Untitled Goose Game” seems to be on its way to becoming one of 2019’s new indie darlings among “Baba is You” and “My Friend Pedro.”