You’ve no doubt heard of the Untitled Goose Game. It’s swept the let’s play nation with its quirky antics and startling premise: controlling an ultra-intelligent goose with a desire to mess with the lives of all people. The humor easily comes across when watching a stream, but how fun is Untitled Goose Game to play for yourself?

Untitled Goose Game
Nintendo Switch
Developed by House House
Published by Panic
Released: 20th September 2019
Review copy provided by Panic

Untitled Goose Game retails for $19.99 USD and was released on Sept. 20, the same launch day as one of Nintendo’s own juggernaut 2019 titles — The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening — and the Nintendo Switch Lite. Despite all the simultaneous video game buzz, Untitled Goose Game was still able to make quite the impression.

The goose happily carries a sandwich in its beak. Swimming speed is a lot higher than running.

Goose: Premise and Controls

Developed by House House, this indie experiment pits a user-controlled goose against several human nonplayable characters that be either fooled or physically messed with in a leisurely fashion. So how does this happen? What can a goose possibly accomplish?

In this regard, the game reminds me of an indie darling close to my heart; Snake Pass came out on consoles, including Nintendo Switch, two years ago and made me feel the puzzle-focused satisfaction of controlling and feeling like another animal entirely with my inputs that replicated winding up poles and terrestrial slithering motions.

Untitled Goose Game is the equivalent for this avian counterpart. The analog controls make the player feel like they are hauling the heavy trunk of a big, water-based bird around. Craning its neck with the ZL button is another crucial touch, as is spreading wings to assert dominance with the ZR button. Honking is a snappy, repetitious series of Y button presses away. The goose can also pick up items in its beak with A and run with B.

This simple, yet effective layout is all a goose needs to cause some real carnage, and I’m happy to report, the game is even more hilarious to play than it is to watch.

A Day in the Life of a Goose

Untitled Goose Game is best described as short but sweet. The main game will likely take someone two to three hours to play. I tag teamed the four levels of the game with my boyfriend, and the full session — from opening tutorial to end credits — took us two and a half hours.

A foolish man reads his newspaper unawares that the goose is primed to strike.

We weren’t rushing our session, which is the best advice I can give. Soak in all that Untitled Goose Game has to offer. That means taking interest in the detailed interactions of the human characters when you honk at them, steal their possessions and perhaps force them to break each other’s property too. The creativity easily beckoned us to finish the game in one fun-filled session that easily had us laughing out loud many times at our chaotic evil and the cartoony reactions of the NPCs.

This sense of humor and creative puzzle solutions really helped the game feel worth the price of admission. Since we were playing a review copy, once I found out just how short the game was, it made me question whether I would have bought the game for full price. There is a solid post game that we didn’t play that can definitely offer about two more hours of gameplay before every item on the goose’s to-do list is completed.

To-do lists should be completed if you’re interested in actually playing the game beyond the stream or trailer you’ve seen. To be honest, a lot of the humor still comes across if you’re watching your favorite let’s player on YouTube. It’s a very personal question: are a few hours of controlling the goose’s antics worth up to $20 USD?

Untitled Goose Wrap-Up

The full goose package is a finely polished indie game that will delight most people. Untitled Goose Game is situational, physical humor at its finest. Bullying a young boy with our honks and seeing humans react to the destruction of their prized possessions were highlights of our play session.

If popping out of a box to give a chef a heart attack sounds appealing to you, Untitled Goose Game is your thing.

Equally enjoyable, the freeform jazz music adds a lot of interactive melody and tension to those times that humans catch onto the goose’s act too early. The muted pastel art style adds another element to the peaceful/chaotic duality of the game’s world. This is how the goose sees it, and you will feel exactly how one of these mischievous birds can control it.

Final Rating – 4 out of 5

Untitled Goose Game is available now for Nintendo Switch, PC and Macintosh systems.

Eric Zavinski

I’ve been playing Nintendo games since I was 3 years old, and my earliest memory is watching my dad play Super Mario 64.
Since then, I’ve become as big of a fan as you might imagine: YouTube video projects, fan fiction, owning just about every amiibo — you name it!
I’m also a stalwart defender of underappreciated games like Skyward Sword, Other M, Super Paper Mario, Star Fox Adventures, Star Fox Zero and more. I love to see passion in a gaming product, and my desire on this site is to share a similar passion in what I write.