REVIEW: The Goose Game shows off avian in action

The goose in Untitled Goose Game traps a young boy in a phone booth. 

Much like the Canada geese on campus, the goose in Untitled Goose Game is an absolute terror — and it’s super fun to play as one of those jerks.

In Untitled Goose Game, players take on the role of the (un)titular goose, who just wants to go about its day and wreak havoc. 

The concept, much like the game’s visual, is pretty minimalist. You’re just a goose with a to-do list of tasks which range from the mundane — have a picnic —  to the maniacal — make someone buy back their own stuff. 

Players can move around, duck, use their beak, run and honk, but that’s about it. The goose is capable of picking up or pulling on most objects in the world, and that’s where the fun really begins.

The few humans populating the small town the goose visits (read: terrorizes) leave the goose alone when it isn’t in places it shouldn’t be — a garden, an open-air shop or a restaurant patio — and most of them seem to go about their routine endlessly. 

However, when the goose moves an item, or sometimes blatantly steals it, they go out of their way to put whatever’s out of place back where it belongs. In practice, this means if the player needs a carrot, for a picnic perhaps, they can destroy one half of a garden, and sneak away with their real treasure while the gardener has to put some pumpkins back.

Although, sometimes the game’s goals require the player to be mean for the sake of being mean. For example, one objective asked the goose to “trap the boy in the phone booth.” When I played, I did this by walking up to him and mashing on the honk button while he fled in terror to the safety of a nearby glass box. Was it really mean? Yes. Was it also hilarious? Absolutely.

There are only four full areas in the game, and I was able to beat it in around three hours. The game is not over after the completion of the goose’s to-do list, though. 

Once the main quest is finished, a number of new, optional challenges, like a timed mode and more difficult puzzles, pop up for players to complete. The additional content doesn’t feel like padding for padding’s sake, either. The main story is cute and short, but there’s more for players who weren’t satisfied with the short experience.

Untitled Goose Game released Sept. 20 for Nintendo Switch and on the Epic Games Store for PC and Mac. It retails for $20 on all platforms but is on sale for $14.99 right now.

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