Clearly the superior goose simulator on the market
Untitled Goose Game debuted last year and it seemed to make a huge dent as everyone couldn’t get enough of the exploits of the Asshole Goose. House House went silent after the footage premiered and the game slowly faded from memory. This week it burst back into the spotlight when it was featured in the Nindies Showcase. “I forgot about that game,” several Destructoid writers said when we first got the trailer.
I didn’t. How could I? How could I forget about a game where you play as a goose that causes mischief? That’s a concept that stays with me, slowly gestating in my imagination as the possibilities of the title swirl through my head. If there was one game I was going to play at PAX West, it would be this. And in the opening hour of the expo, when the press is given an hour head start on the rest of the attendees, that’s exactly what I do.
The demo for Untitled Goose Game features the level that’s been most prominent in its publicity so far. I’m a goose and there is a farmer tending to his garden who I need to go bother. The goose walks with an adorable waddle, and I can honk and flap my wings with the press of a button. All my interactions with the objects in the stage are contextual and it’s never unclear what I’m about to take hold of when I press the button.
While just being the goose itself is enough for me to love this title, there are objectives I need to complete to win. I start out trying to set the picnic but when I realize the clock is ticking I move onto more achievable goals. Most everything in the stage I grab onto will prompt the farmer to give chase. He can easily catch me, so my main objective for all my tasks to figure out the best ways to distract him. I try and steal his boot, and when he takes it back from me, I steal his keys. One objective done. I pull out a bunch of carrots and throw them next to the sprinkler. When the farmer goes to grab them, I turn it on and soak him. Another objective complete.
Getting into the garden was an objective all its own, but I set my attention to the rake in the back of the garden as my primary task for the session. I need to throw it into the lake, but every time I get close the farmer catches me. I try moving a pumpkin or two and it’s not enough. I mess with the radio but don’t get far. With less than a minute to go, I’m able to cause a sufficient amount of havoc to distract him long enough for me to put the rake in the lake. Mission accomplished and boy does it feel wonderful. This isn’t me saving a princess or making it to the end of a dungeon. I’m just a goose throwing a rake into a lake. Irreverent humor at its finest.
I do come across a few glitches in the demo. The rake can sometimes dance around for a few moments but from what I see this game is on solid footing. It plays splendidly, is frankly gorgeous to look at, and the score, which isn’t always present, adds to the intensity of the countdown clock by growing more pronounced with each passing second even though it sounds like music Marc Shaiman would compose for a Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan rom-com.
Untitled Goose Game is expected to launch in early 2019 on Switch, PC, and Mac. Don’t forget about it between now and then because I have no doubt this will be an absolute treasure of a game. And also don’t be one of those people who just dismiss this as merely “Goat Simulator with a goose” like some people at PAX did. This is so much more than that.