By Staff Writer Eric Sousa
After playing Untitled Goose Game for an hour, I realized a few things. One, I’ve spent the last hour pretending to be the fowlest goose this world has ever seen. An hour I could’ve spent studying, an hour I’ll never get back. Two, I’m going to waste even more precious time playing this game.
It’s hard to explain this game, because there’s nothing to compare it to. It’s not like we have “Ducks Fully Loaded” or “Pigeon Heist,” or any other bird-related titles. It’s fairly unique. You are, well, you’re a goose. You’re a goose that does goose things. You can run as a goose. You can spread your wings as a goose. You can hiss at very generic humans in an aesthetically pleasing open world as a goose. You can do all these things along side each other, with a very simple goal: complete tasks, be a nuisance, and be the best goose you can be.
Let me explain.
The game opens up with you, a goose, wandering around a calm small British town. Everybody moseys along, blissfully unaware that their worlds are about to get rocked by petty hijinks. You, the protagonist, have a very simple to-do list. It isn’t a very serious list. It is full of items such as: make a man fall on his butt, scare the lady, get the gardener wet, have a picnic, etc.
My favorite has been the aptly phrased, “rake in the lake.” The main job of this mission is to… drag a rake into the lake. I’m telling you, it’s not a complicated game. But as I tried to outsmart the gardener and wrench the rake from his possession, I felt an enormous sense of relaxation.
The game has the open-world feeling that we’ve come to love in games. There is no real direction or path to follow. There is no agenda, no big bad end boss. It’s like you became a goose and you wanted to cause a nuisance. A goosance, some would say.
It’s one of the best puzzle games I’ve ever played. The lack of direction lends the game a sense of timelessness, and the problem solving has some of the most unique results. Never before, in my life, have I been proud of successfully stealing a child’s glasses as waterfowl. The townsfolk do their best to deter the minor villainy, which just means you need to get more creative.
The rake is heavy, and the gardener will catch you? Well, time to set the water off to distract him. Locked gate? Well, time to pilfer the keys after messing with the gatekeeper. Despite the lack of dialogue, plot, or any other recognizable element in a normal game, I found myself engrossed in it.
Now, this could just be a genius ploy set up by Big Goose companies to desensitize us to goose-related atrocities down the line. Lord knows the goose gangs seen at UMD were troublesome before this game came out. I expect to see a marked increase in goose-related crime after this game has fully circulated.
Regardless of the impact, I would give this game 8 out of 10 slices of bread. It’s simple, enjoyable, and certainly worth the time I will put into it. It’s also one of the easier games to play, as the controls are simple. Beginners should not have a hard time goosing around, and veterans will appreciate the unique spin after libraries of redundant game themes. It’s at least worth playing once.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, there’s a certain stool that needs pulling and I’m the right goose for the job.