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Untitled Goose Game review for Nintendo Switch, PC


Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also on: PC
Publisher: Panic
Developer: House House
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E

Eds. Note: We doubled up on editor reviews for Untitled Goose Game, so make sure to check them both out below!

Matthew Pollesel

In some ways, Untitled Goose Game reminds me of Goat Simulator. It’s built around a goofy idea that somehow got turned into a game, and that idea just so happens to be about an animal causing all kinds of mayhem.

There’s a key difference, however, that elevates Untitled Goose Game a step or two above its competition in the field of animal-based destruction simulators: where Goat Simulator felt a little too ambitious in its scope, Untitled Goose Game limits its silliness to something much more manageable — and, by extension, much more enjoyable. Here, rather than giving you free reign over a sizeable map with a goat, your goose’s destruction is limited to only a few small parts of a village, and it’s much more focused on specific goals.

True, the flipside of that is that Untitled Goose Game is much, much shorter — you’ll be able to achieve your main goals in a couple of hours, and even if you decide to find all its secrets it won’t take you much longer. As far as I’m concerned, however, I’ll take short and focused over sprawling and unfocused any day of the week.

It helps, of course, that Untitled Goose Game is absurdly fun. Whether you’re chasing a young boy into a telephone booth, making a gardener hammer his thumb, stealing an entire place setting from a restaurant, or toppling over a miniature castle, this game has no shortage of opportunities to indulge your inner jerk. I had a blast running around each area, honking my head off and causing all kinds of craziness to unfold around me.

It’s also hard not to love a game that had such obvious love and care put into it. The graphics are lovely, bringing to mind the adorableness of Donut County. Likewise, the music is perfect, with your goose-y hijinx scored by a playful piano take on Debussy’s Préludes.

Given its absurdity, it would be easy to look at Untitled Goose Game and simply dismiss it as a joke taken way too far. But the reality is far different. This is one of the most enjoyable games I’ve played this year, and it’s well worth checking out.

Grade: A-

Stan Yeung

We live in chaotic times, and sometimes in escapism is all we have. So it is always nice to see titles that are being made which sheers off the need to tell an epic story or be gritty and realistic. Sometimes you just want to have some silly fun. So when this title’s debut trailer showed up a Nintendo Direct this year, it was a breath of fresh air.

You’re a goose that lives near what appears to be a quaint european village, and your goal is to complete a series of tasks that is jotted down on pieces of notebook paper. Who is providing this list, why is the goose motivated to follow these orders, or how is the goose reading the list…all superfluous questions. The plot is there really isn’t a plot. You just do as the list demands and eventually when you’ve completed enough tasks on the list (usually 4 or 5), you will be provided have an additional task which when completed will allow you to move onto the next area. The game has 5 areas where you can unleash your brand of avian chaos.

Controlling the goose is a pretty straightforward affair, the face buttons lets the goose do things like dash (or speed waddle if you will, because Usain Bolt our feathered friend isn’t), flap their wings, duck (ha!) and grab objects. In addition to your skills, you’ll need to use your wits to achieve your objectives…which usually revolves around how do you distract the humans around the village so you can sneak an object away.

The artstyle is very minimalist, and invokes art which can be found in a children’s book. The usage of music is extremely contextual, almost like what you would expect in a horror movie…minus the scares. Since these villagers are relatively benign, the only thing they’ll do is shoo you away, you will never be in any sort of mortal danger. So it’s hard to get frustrated by the game short of being unable to figure out how to cross off an item off the goose’s list.

Untitled Goose game is a short romp, it’s length is slightly bolstered by a speed run mode which can be accessed after the campaign has been completed. What makes the game work is the charm of the premise and how accessible it is to all audiences. It’s easily a game which you can play when you need a break from the world, I know when things are going a little too rough, I can absolutely open the game and chase or be chased by some villagers. I definitely will look forward to an expansion or a sequel, because as we know geese are migratory birds. so there are plenty of places that the goose can end up! As long as no Italian cover models are hurt, Untitled Goose Game will certainly be a title I can share with the entire family.

Panic provided us with an Untitled Goose Game Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: B