Untitled Goose: What the Honk is This Game?

Untitled Goose Game was developed by House House and published by Panic. It released on September 19, 2019 for $20. It’s available on both PC and Nintendo Switch.

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Here it is, boys and girls, 2019’s most anticipated game.

Ever looked at a serene, pastoral English village and thought: “this place could use a little more goose?” Ever looked at those terrible geese strutting around your local park and wondered what’s going on in their heads? Look no further!

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Speaking of looks, let’s start with the game’s visuals. Untitled Goose Game may not be pushing any strong graphical effects, but its clean shapes and solid colors are a perfect match for the game’s simplistic controls and mechanics. The animation is on point so that no words are necessary — you can feel the goose’s curiosity and arrogance, as well as the townsfolk’s annoyance at your shenanigans.

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Speaking of shenanigans, you’ll be doing plenty of these in this game. Underneath its adorable disguise, Untitled Goose Game is actually a bit of a challenging stealth game. You’re put into small village areas with a to-do list for various pranks you’ll pull on the poor people. Anything from stealing a gardener’s vegetables to getting yourself put on TV, several of these tasks got me laughing out loud. The minimalist piano soundtrack responds to your actions, and is always on point to strengthen the suspense and comedic effect.

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With this approach, each area becomes a sandbox you have to puzzle your way out of. I enjoyed navigating each area, experimenting with its tools and outsmarting each villager. It required a good deal of patience waiting for the right time or lining up your distractions just right. The hardest part of it all though was dealing with the villagers’ AI. Their inconsistent patterns and line of sight had me a bit annoyed trying to get them to do what I wanted them to do. It’s nothing that extra distractions or a different approach couldn’t solve, however.

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Where’s your pipe, mister? Don’t ask me, I’m just a goose!

Some people might complain about its length (it only lasts a couple of hours, maybe an extra hour to do the post-game bonus pranks), but I found its length just right. In fact, its short length somehow adds to its charm. I highly recommend Untitled Goose Game to anyone wanting to get into a quirky game with something to laugh at basically every 3 minutes.

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