Untitled Goose Game has become a meme generator all on its own in 2019, and now Xbox players get to enjoy this wonderful little title thanks to developer House House finally bringing the game to Microsofts platform.
Even better, Game Pass subscribers can enjoy it without parting with any extra cash as it’s been added to their subscription as of today, so if you’re a subscriber, you really have no excuse.
It’s got to be said – never has being a goose been so much fun. The authentic waddle, the flapping of the wings, the wonderful vocalisation – “Honk!” a dedicated button just for honking – it is all so wonderfully animated and endearing. And you get to live the goose dream – being an absolute jerk to everyone.
You’re not just any goose, but a goose on a mission. Set in an idyllic countryside town resembling a quiet English village, each section of the game tasks you with completing certain tasks which you can tick off your goose objective list. Get the groundskeeper wet by setting off his sprinklers or stealing his keys, or later – perhaps sneakily tying a small boys shoelaces together when he’s distracted so he falls over. Of course, then you can steal his glasses and run away honking merrily. Whatever floats your boat. As long as you can cross it off the list.
Eventually, clear enough objectives and the residents will have had enough, giving rise to some sort of grassroots anti-geese movement. Placards will be made, signs will be placed – No geese allowed, and you will be able to access the next area to begin terrorising these town folk all over again.
The game becomes a relaxing genre mix of puzzle and stealth, set to a chirpy piano soundtrack that plinks and plunks happily along with your actions. You can use your honk to attract attention, attracting a shopkeeper before locking them in their own garage, for example. Or Goose-crouch your way towards a man reading his newspaper so you can steal his slippers, right off his feet.
The whole game is presented in this wonderfully simplistic flat artstyle, and the animations of both goose and the village population are so well realised that it’ll bring a constant and persistent smile to your face. Pair that with the general goose hi-jinks and the very open approach to experimentation, and you’ll be guaranteed to have a great time. What I particularly admire is that everything you can do as a Goose appears almost believable.
The game will likely take you less than a couple of hours to complete, but there is some replay-ability here thanks to some additional objectives that can be discovered should you wish to experiment with your new found goose skills. Either way, the overarching objective is to be an absolute arsehole, to the entire village, all culminating in a neat little twist at the end that underlines that geese – well, geese will act like this everyday given the chance.
In lesser hands, this game could have quickly worn out its welcome, but Australian developer House House should be applauded here. What apparently began as a joke between the developers online, has eventually culminated in one of the most memorable games of 2019.
Geese are jerks. Go live their dream.