Yesterday I bought a game on the Epic Games Store. It came out two days ago and, Geesus Christ, it’s fun! Of course, I’m talking about Untitled Goose Game, a hilarious stealth-game (I’d say?) where you pull small little pranks on the people around you and annoy them as much as possible. You play as a Goose (duh.) that is leaving the park’s pond to be a douchebag.. and I must say, this game is a real firequacker!
Developer: House House
Genres: Stealth, Casual, Indie
Release Date: September 20, 2019
Reviewed on: PC
Available for: PC, Switch
But let’s get to the beakinning.
Right when you start the game on one of your three save files, you’ve got a small little tutorial where the game explains to you how to duck, sprint, honk, and do other things that are quite useful to know. It’s relatively simple and easy to pick up. You basically only use your mouse for the controls, except for when you want to spread your wings (X – Although I haven’t found any use for that yet except for bragging, I guess?) or when you want to honk (Space – quite useful! And it adds a lot to the game!). You’re also able to sprint with Shift and Zoom In/Out using A and S if you’re not comfortable with using the Mouse for all of your controls.
Using tab, you can access the tasks that you need to complete to be able to leave the current area. The game has a lot of varying areas that get unlocked over time. It’s all one neighbourhood but you can get everywhere without completing the previous areas and then opening the doors to new paths. I found this aspect of unlocking new paths for you to travel back quite interesting as you’re able to “replay” some levels, too, when you’re in the mood for that.
There are a lot of different tasks!
In the first area, you’re messing with a gardener. There’re some rather harmless tasks like making him wear his sunhat and entering the garden and some ducknically meaner tasks like stealing his tools and throwing them into the lake or using items from his garden to have a picnic in the park.
What’s interesting is the fact that you get a ton of ways to complete some of the tasks, which I really wing! For instance, you need to get the gardener wet which is accomplished in a lot of different ways! Even getting his hat off and replacing it with a sun hat can be done in an easy way or a few alternative ways. Super interesting!
I guess it’s all rather harmless as it’s not violent in any way (apart from one task where you need to make some people fall on their bum, later on, or have the gardener hit his thumb with a hammer) but overall you never really feel like an asshole, maybe a bit douchey or just mischievous but you’re not the worst person (or should I say bird?) ever for doing those things. No harm, no fowl!
In the next few areas, things get a bit more complicated with a boy being scared of you, a grumpy shopkeeper having a broom and some ill-winged pub-stuff that are goose-o-phobic and won’t let you in by normal means! It’s getting trickier little by little, sometimes you might need to hide more or distract people from somewhere else, you also sometimes need to just lurk in the shadows, observing your prey, finding out what their patterns and habits are before you finally STRIKE!
It feels like a mix between the Hitman Games and Goat Simulator… but with a goose. You’re like a Poultrygeist, messing with people that are just following their daily routine.
But how’s the presentation?
Well, artstyle-wise, generally speaking, it looks like a painting. The game uses a pastel-ish colour-palette, which I found rather cute. It kind of makes the whole game feel a lot less evil and quite a lot friendlier! While overall minimalistic, there’re still tons of details in the animation.
For example, when walking through the bushes, that kind of look like they’ve been painted onto a canvas, I saw tons of small leaves moving, which I found really fabulous. Everywhere you go, a ton of things are moving or at least movable, making the game very lively, despite the canvas-ness of it – and on top of it all objects that you’re able to move around, make sounds of their own, which is really cool!
Speaking of sound… (lol)
The sound-design is another thing that is bringing life to the game!
It all reminded me of a ‘symphonic fairy tale‘ we’ve learned about in music class back in seventh grade. Back then we learned about Sergei Prokofiev, a composer and pianist, who turn “Peter and the Wolf” (russing: «Пе́тя и волк») into a music piece where every critter, every animal and every person had a theme that fit their characteristics. The rabbit being small and nimble had a theme played by flutes, while the duck or the goose was rather sluggish and played by an oboe.
In Untitled Goose Game, we’ve got something similar going on. There’s a theme for every person, every occassion, and for the goose. It’s all played by a piano but in different octaves making it relatively easy to distinguish between different moods of people. People chasing you, people being afraid of you, you being the ultimate douche – there’s a tune for everything!
I found this feature rather entertaining and even kind of nestalgic. There is some music here and there, too, but the piano is most often the main thing going on, soundtrack-wise.
While we’re at it, another great thing about this game is just the overall mixing of the game. It’s rather entertaining when you hear the waddling and paddling noises and overall the honking in between moments of mischief. I love it.
All in all the artstyle, the animation, the soundmixing, the derpiness of the goose and the fact that the goose head always looks at other people like it’s got some evil plan… All those points are great and really selling the game to me, so geeze what, I’m recommending this game! I haven’t seen any flaws at all. If you nest up and get softlocked, you can just reset the game and get to keep the progress of all completed tasks.
Overall it sells some good quality time at a good price and even though it’s an Epic Games Exclusive title, you may want to get over your pride and enjoy yourself a bit.