Review – Untitled Goose Game
Let me start off this review by saying the following: Untitled Goose Game is a very, very, very dumb game. If you thought that this was negative criticism, you’re wrong, as I’m 500% sure that this was the developer’s intention from the start. It’s not a pretentious indie that tries to take itself seriously with a supposedly deep story and biting off more than it can chew. In fact, it’s the complete opposite: it’s a game in which you’re a goose and your objective is to annoy people around you. Simple as that.
Not long after the game starts, you’re thrown into the overworld and it’s up to you to annoy every human in sight. This can be done by following the small list of actual objectives you need to complete (completing them opens new areas for you to “explore”) or by simply finding new ways to bother humans by unleashing your inner seven year old. You have dedicated buttons to honk, run, flap your wings (still trying to find a utility for this), and pick stuff with your beak. You know, common goose stuff. Let all hell loose with these four simple commands.
To Untitled Goose Game‘s credit, there are lots of ways you can annoy people. Right from the get-go I managed to startle a gardener by stealing his produce, his keys, and throwing his rake in a nearby lake. I then proceeded to scare a kid into a nearby telephone booth. After that kid stepped away from the booth, I managed to quietly untie his shoelaces, make him fall to the ground, pick up his glasses, and swap them with different sunglasses, like a dumb troll. Untitled Goose Game just lets me be a stupid avian bully, all while rewarding me for doing so. Hey, it’s best to do such things inside a game than in real life.
Untitled Goose Game‘s art direction is great. It’s got a unique visual style, with vibrant colors and not a single black line surround people and objects. Every character features smooth animations and the framerate is locked at 30fps, with no hiccups whatsoever. I’m not a big fan of the fact that people don’t have faces, however. They all look extremely weird, while the goose features every single part of its body where it should be. The sound department is basically comprised of lots of honks and occasional comedic tunes that are played whenever you’re trolling someone, as if you were in a vaudevillian comedy from the early 20th century. It works brilliantly.
With all that being said, even though I enjoyed the game’s dumb premise and carefree gameplay loop, it’s not without its fair share of issues.
The control scheme, while decent, features some problems. The game’s camera is very faulty, acting only when it wants. Its collision system is bizarre, occasionally letting you get past objects that a goose would never fit through, while other times blocking you from passing through much larger holes. The collision detection on the human NPCs is also problematic, as your goose automatically runs away from them when you touch them, sometimes locking you into an endless loop if you’re near a wall. Finally, you can’t properly turn while you’re “sprinting”, even though you’re not even running that fast to begin with.
Ultimate Goose Game is a very fun and unique title, but I have to say that I expected a bit more from it. Especially considering how everyone is praising it as the most magnificent indie released in years. I like that it’s really stupid and carefree, prioritizing fun over anything else, but I didn’t like its duration or its multiple gameplay issues. Dare I say, I found this game to be a tad bit overrated, but I can definitely see the developers fixing its issues for the sequel. Perhaps the next game will give me goosebumps.
An adorable art style with excellent animations. My only (somewhat big) complaint is how weird the human characters look like.
Some issues like a faulty camera, an occasionally faulty collision system, and not being able to turn quickly when “sprinting” hinder what’s otherwise a very good control scheme.
There’s not a lot of music in this game, but it always shows up in the most opportune of times, just like in a vaudevillian comedy.
Fun Factor: 7.5
Don’t get me wrong, trolling humans as a goose and making their life as miserable as possible, is a delightful experience. But I wish the game was a bit meatier, be it with the amount of chaos you can cause or the amount of humans you can annoy.
Final Verdict: 7.5
Untitled Goose Game is available now on PC and Switch.
Reviewed on Switch.
A copy of Untitled Goose Game was provided by the publisher.