When I first heard someone mention Untitled Goose Game, I thought it was a joke. When they confirmed that, no, it is a real game, I thought that the title was just a placeholder. Nope.
“How is this a thing?” I wondered.
Well, after playing Untitled Goose Game for the first time, I can say that I am glad that it is a thing and not simply a gag. It is, in fact, one of the most creative games released in 2019.
As the title suggests, the game centers around a goose, who you control from a third-person perspective. As with all geese, this one is more than a little feisty. It’s fair to say that you are a total arse, going out of your way to ruin people’s otherwise pleasant day in a small, quaint English village.
The game splits into different, connected areas. It’s something like a miniature sandbox-style game. The flow from one area to another of the picturesque town is natural, usually interconnected via a path, a bridge, or a street. There’s a sense of order and tranquility.
And then along comes the goose, a loud, obnoxious bird who disrupts the peace of the village and acts as if it owns the place. Its hard-headed determination to do as it pleases, despite its minuscule size, is its hallmark. And that characteristic is on full display throughout this short adventure.
Untitled Goose Game is one part puzzle, one part stealth game. Each area has a to-do list for your little goose to accomplish. Often the task is to grab an object and do something with it, such as moving it from A to B. Usually the game wants you to do this stealthily since when you steal an object that belongs to someone, they will try to take it back if they see you. Other goals require you to get the NPCs in the game to do some action that they’ll regret.
There does not seem to be a lot of point to the things that you do in Untitled Goose Game outside of just pulling pranks and generally pissing people off. Whether you are stealing vegetables from a garden, turning on a hose and getting a person wet, or scaring a kid in order to steal his glasses, it’s all done in a way that is playful and innocent. It’s a game meant to elicit joy and laughter, and it does an admirable job. I just wish it was longer.
Overall, Untitled Goose Game seems like an absurd concept, and it is. That’s why I love it. If you like light-hearted and quirky games, most likely you will too.