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  • Writer's pictureAllan Jenks

Game Review #478: Untitled Goose Game (Nintendo Switch)

Reviewer: Allan Jenks

Developer: House House

Publisher: Panic

Category: Action, Puzzle, Indie

Release Date: 9.20.2019

Price: $19.99


Buy Untitled Goose Game from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

F*@# Yo’ Rake!

We’ve all wanted to lock an annoying kid in a phone booth or chuck a gardener’s rake into the pond after making him hammer his own thumb, right? Just me? Well, at any rate, when I first saw the trailer for Untitled Goose Game (called Mischievous Goose is Comin’ in Japan) I was immediately interested in giving it a try. After all, this indie release was outselling Link’s Awakening on Switch last year, so there had to be something to it. Well, I got my hands—or SD card, technically—on a copy, so let’s see if it lived up to my expectations!

The game has you playing the role of a mischievous goose who is just trying to live her best life, but all the humans just don’t understand her ways. From the trailer, it really looked like the goose was just being a bit of a Richard, but as you play, you realize that is not the case. After all, this goose isn’t asking for the world… she’s just trying to have a picnic, go on a shopping trip, and get a little dressed up with a pretty red bow. The problem is that geese don’t have jobs, so they can’t really pay for the items required for these activities. To quote Aladdin, “Gotta eat to live… Gotta steal to eat… Otherwise we’d get along!”

So Much to Do, So Little Attack Power

In Untitled Goose Game, you are given a checklist of tasks to complete, such as collecting items for a picnic and bringing them all to a picnic blanket, or gathering some canned goods and toilet paper into a shopping basket, or trapping the lady at the marketplace in the garage—she deserved it—or stealing glasses from a young boy… you know, normal everyday stuff. While attempting to complete these tasks though, the humans involved will do everything they can to undermine you and shoo you away—some more politely than others… looking at you, marketplace lady—and make living your best life way more challenging than it should be.

I honestly thought I would be more in the spirit of messing with people, but really, I ended up just wanted to see the goose happy. I knew I would not feel sympathy for the people in the game, but I didn’t know I would wish there was an attack command as much as I did.

Operating You Goose

Speaking of commands, the controls are fairly straightforward. You can run, grab, duck down, flap your wings to look big, and you can honk at people. Like I said, I wish there was an ability to attack people, but unfortunately, there is not. That said, you can still scare people by sneaking up on them and honking at them when they least expect it. I was able to make the gardener hammer his thumb by doing this, and I was also able to make a man spit out his morning tea by scaring him with a large bell. It’s the little things, really. The controls were smooth, for the most part, though while trying to dodge and weave while being chased away, the goose didn’t tend to take corners well, and often came in too wide, and ended up stuck in a corner or against an obstacle I was trying to avoid.

Audio & Video

Visually, Untitled Goose Game is pretty plain, but it is done well. The images are simple, yet effective, and while nothing here is 4K, the simplicity of it all is appreciated and still gets the point across quite well. The soundtrack is mostly just ambiance, but it also gets the job done. It also leaves plenty of space in the soundscape for the loud honks to cut right through. Since I could not attack people, it was still somewhat satisfying to honk at them repeatedly, giving them what for the best way I could whenever I was wronged or oppressed.

Wrapping Up

At the end of the day, I was not disappointed with my Untitled Goose Gameexperience, and I had a great time pranking the people in the game. It was actually more challenging than I initially anticipated, but nothing too extreme. There is a certain element of puzzle-solving required as well, since you have to really stop and think up a strategy to get away with most of the stuff on your list without being thwarted by the man. If you think terrorizing people in the form of a mischievous goose sounds fun—and it is—then you will definitely want to pick up a copy of this one for your library. It’s nothing too intense, and while you can easily drop a lot of time into this in a single sitting, you can just as easily boot it up for a quick few minutes of play time as well.

Score: 8/10

Buy Untitled Goose Game from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

Follow House House

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Follow Panic

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*A game code was provided for review purposes

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