“It’s a lovely morning in the village, and you are a horrible goose.”
Look, when a game’s tagline is that good, I just have to play it, okay? And when it goes above and beyond to deliver on horrible gooseness, obviously I have to talk about it!
So happy Thanksgiving, and have some good, good words about a terrible, terrible goose.
Before I get into the delightfully chaotic qualities of the Untitled Goose Game, I really do have to share this video with you. Please, if nothing else today, watch it and appreciate the sheer absurdity this game brings to the table via an unofficial but positively fantastic edit.
And now that you’ve watched that masterpiece, let me tell you the most important thing you need to know about Untitled Goose Game.
YOU SHOULD PLAY IT.
I used to think that I could never choose the mean dialogue option in video games, that my soft little heart was too weak to be cruel. Now I know the truth: I can be mean, when being mean just entails being highly inconvenient. And that, friends, is the core objective of Untitled Goose Game. You are not in this sleepy little English town to be helpful. You are not here to be nice. You are here to be a menace, a monster, a goblin of a goose, and you are here to be good at it.
And let me tell you, there is something absurdly refreshing about just going ham and inconveniencing everyone’s day. Maybe it’s because I work in retail, or maybe it’s because I try so hard to be a nice person, but there is relentless joy in being the goose who puts themself first, at the cost of ruining other people’s day. Let me wreak havoc! Let me cause chaos! Let me be the troublemaker I could never be IRL, and let me take joy in it!
The goose is here, they’re taking up space, and they refuse to apologize. It’s damn near ideal.
But really, this game is an incredible mix of silly and simple, short and sweet, but also not sweet at all. A goose who terrorizes a small child is not sweet. A goose who infiltrates a pub and steals silverware is not sweet. This goose is loose and no one can stop them.
Plus, this goose does no lasting harm. I think that’s where the bulk of the appeal is for me, because this goose is not making people’s lives absolute hell. This goose is out to steal the piddly things in your life and have a picnic with your stolen radio blaring beside them. I keep using the word inconvenient, but that’s really what it boils down to: joyful, reckless abandon that leads to victory for the goose and another day of trying to goose-proof the village for everyone else.
And oddly enough, this game is even soothing. With simple graphics and cheerful, apt music, it’s not stressful to run around, doing all this minimal damage. It’s more like a lovely little stroll that happens to have a checklist of terrible inconveniences organized by a chaos deity somewhere along the line. In tidy handwriting, of course. With controls that are relatively simple to grasp, and puzzles that are fun to solve. And a button exclusively for honking obnoxiously for anyone who stands in your way.
Really, the only stressful part of this game was the final troublemaker’s quest, but I can’t even complain about it since it introduced a narrative element at the last second that tied everything together perfectly. I cackled when I beat the game because of how neat and clever it all was in that masterstroke of a quest, and I almost wish I could go back and replay it with no memory of the ending, just for the joy of that conclusion.
And for those of you that like postgame content, even in your less stressful endeavors, Untitled Goose Game even has some of that! After the finale, you’re welcome to return to the village with your terrible, terrible ways all over again, this time in timed challenges and other secret checklist items. The goosery never really ends, and I don’t want it to.
I, for one, welcome our new goose overlord, and I think you should too.
And if you’re not on the goose hype train yet, you can see the different purchase options (and a trailer!) through the official Untitled Goose Game site. Even if it’s not in your budget right now, at least do yourself a favor and read the game description found in their PC/Mac purchase link, because it perfectly encapsulates the level of ultimately harmless mischief you were put on this planet to carry out.
Go forth, get your goose, and be inconvenient. Do right by our dearly beloved Untitled Goose.