You are a horrible goose in a quiet English village. Honk at the locals, steal items and cause chaos in Untitled Goose Game by House House.
If you have been on Twitter over the last week, you have probably already heard about Untitled Goose Game by House House.
The premise is very simple. In this single-player game, you play as a goose in a quiet English village. You can flap your wings, duck your head to pick up items or hide under tables, run and honk. There are five different areas of the map, each with tasks to complete before you can move on to the next area. Each area has a bonus additional task to complete which appears just before you leave.
The game starts with a tutorial, while you emerge from your home and cross over the pond to the first area. In the first area, you harass a groundskeeper tending a vegetable garden with tasks such as ‘get the groundskeeper wet’, ‘steal his keys’ and ‘make him wear his own hat’. In the next, you are in a market square, with a boy who is scared of geese (your task is to trap him in the phonebox), an electronics shop and a market stall. In the third area, you move between two gardens and cause arguments between them by getting the man to break the woman’s fancy vase, making the man spit out his tea and stealing the man’s clothes to dress the woman’s bust. The fourth area is set in a pub garden, where you can destroy the dart board, make a man fall on his bum, and perform tricks for a pair of women. In the final zone, you can terrorise a model of the village.
Once you have completed the game, additional bonus tasks appear, as well as some time trials. Of course, you don’t have to complete the additional tasks — you can just enjoy the game as ‘free play’ and harass the villagers at will.
Untitled Goose Game is quite a short game, it would have taken about two hours to complete the main game. The bonus missions add about another hour to gameplay.
However, it is really fun and gives a lot of entertainment — I took about four hours to complete the main story on launch day. I wanted to take my time as I was having so much fun. There is something very satisfying about stealing items and watching the villagers being forced to buy back their own items, for example — or just honking at the villagers to make them jump.
The tasks to complete in each area are all very different and very creative. Each area feels very ‘typically English’ and I loved that it even has a model village at the end. You can tell that a lot of love and effort has gone into making this game and getting all the little details right. For example, if your goose picks up a glass milk bottle, they can honk with it on their beak and it makes an echo.
The music is great too. It has been adapted by Dan Golding from Debussy’s Préludes and is silent until you are close to a villager. It then grows in intensity until you run (or are shoo’d) away. It is a great example of how music can add to the atmosphere of a game.
I really liked that there were additional objectives to complete after finishing the main story, or that you can just run around doing what you want. However, I am unsure about how much replayability it will have. I played the game for a total of six hours on launch — when my boyfriend got home from work, he watched me playing for a while and then wanted to have a go himself, and we had a very fun six hours playing the game. This is a game that I will pick up and play occasionally, but I think a lot of people will only play it once or twice before getting bored of it (especially when the hype has died down).
I would love to see some add additional areas in the future (perhaps the castle that you can see in the model village, or a library) or a Free Play option in the main menu, rather than having to play through the game to do that.