You need to play Untitled Goose Game

So, it’s been a rough week.

My day job has been dragging me down a little, and the iPhone 11 launch means that every second of my evenings at home have been nothing but research and writing. I am now fluent in iPhone 11 Pro contract deals - I now possess a PhD level knowledge in the best iPhone 11 cases. Help me.

But enough context, I had definitely earned myself a relaxed Friday evening, so I cracked open a couple beers and flicked on the Switch to play a game that had been in my peripheral vision for a while now, but has finally come to fruition. This is Untitled Goose Game - and it is 100% worth a gander.

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Little did I know it would be an experience of pure, mischievous, humble wholesomeness that would be unrivalled in providing unbridled joy by anything I’ve played this year. 

The gentle cheekiness of the reactive piano score and the charming, simplistic visual style set the scene for you to play (you guessed it) as a goose, and just be a massive dick to the local village citizens.

Now, when I describe this game, you’re either going to scoff at my summary or absolutely love the concept of it. Untitled Goose Game is basically a stealth game - think Hitman, but rather than tackling missions as a cold, calculated bald clone with peak physical performance, you instead do things as a honking creature from the waterfowl species. 

You get a list of things to do, which generally all focus around causing havoc to the people of this picturesque British village (like what you’d see on Heartbeat), varying from breaking a store owner’s broom stick to stealing a small child’s glasses and chasing him into a phone box. 

Where on Earth did they come up with this stuff?

Well, it actually became a thing back in 2016, when one of the people key developers at House House tweeted a couple of screenshots from the team’s internal Slack. What started as a joke from Stuart Gillespie-Cook, throwing out the parodical idea of making a game about a goose, turned into a full-length conversation about the animal.

And from there, a weird masterpiece was born.

The forgiving design and variety of gameplay styles from the slow, methodical approach to the quick-fire chase sequences make for something special. Too many games weigh you down with repercussions for your actions, decisions you make creating irreparable damage to your experience. 

So to actually feel the gentle support of developers here - allowing you the time to experiment, cock everything up and keep trying until it works - is a breath of fresh air. This whimsical sandbox is yours to explore and exact your evil bill-based plan upon its citizens. 

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But before I gush too much, let’s be clear - it’s not perfect. There are certainly some frustrations around the controls, making your goose run just feels unnecessarily cumbersome and the mechanics to pick up specific items are effective about 60% of the time. Plus, it’s all over so fast - it felt like the village was just one level of a larger game, but the credits roll far too soon on this unique experience.

Maybe that last criticism could also be taken as a compliment in disguise. I really wanted there to be more of this game to play, but alas there isn’t. Maybe some future level updates/DLC - how about a seagull experience where you tactically steal chips from unsuspecting beach goers?

So, it’s been a rough week. But as far as ways to cheer myself up goes, Untitled Goose Game is an incredibly entertaining, light-hearted, one-of-a-kind experience that will leave you wishing it wasn’t over so soon.

Harmless fun at it’s absolute best. Now please give us more of the same.