For a few hours, escape the crippling stress of essay writing and human responsibility by waddling around as a fine feathered fowl in Untitled Goose Game.
The developers at House House have been able to capture the intimidating nature of a goose perfectly. A tiny white head emerging from a bush. Quiet geese feet patter forward. Before the blank-faced child npc knows what’s happening, the goose has pounced. Glasses are stolen, fences are broken, children are terrorized. Untitled Goose Game brings out the joy in being completely immoral, but through the eyes of a bird.
The goals and gameplay of the game are simple. Players are tasked with a set of objectives they must complete by hatching their own dastardly geese plans. They are free to craft the most ridiculous, cruel, or complicated plans against the helpless village people. Once finished, an entranceway opens to the next site, (a garden, a market, a pub, and two neighboring backyards) and another set of objectives. It’s a mix of problem-solving and open world exploration, with gratifying payoff as villagers scramble to right effects from goose antics.
To add to the charm, the game is done entirely in simply poly graphics. The goose itself only has a few different animations. The developers opted instead to create a “dedicated honk button.”
While the graphics are quaint, the origin story of Untitled Goose Game is even more charming. It all started as a joke in an online chat room between the developers at House House. It was meant to give them an opportunity to play around with 3D controls. The game quickly developed a cult following after clips of an obnoxious cartoon goose captured the attention of the public. As of October 5th, it’s at the top of the lists for both all games and digital downloads for the Nintendo Switch.
I found myself laughing at the gardener as he searched for the boot I stole and yelling (honking) angrily at shopkeepers that chased me away. Every successfully executed hijink was like a hit of dopamine. Running around as a goose with no moral code has been a great way to relieve stress and a refreshing change from more fast-paced, drama heavy games, such as Borderlands 3 or even Super Smash Bros. The next time life is overwhelming, take a moment or two to lose yourself and your morality to the calling of the geese.