Hidden Gem: Untitled Goose Game

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We all love the ducks on Highfield Campus, but what do you think would happen if their waterfowl friends decided one day to get back at people? Not for anything in particular, but just because it was entertaining and petty. Agent 47 as a goose, as it were? Untitled Goose Game by developers House House presents this opportunity for sheer mayhem to you.

If you speedrun the game, it can be completed in under an hour, but where’s the fun in that (unless you’re into speedruns, then go for it!). I found the most fun was trying different approaches for the simplest stuff, finding secret ways into the gardens, and causing havoc in this unnamed quaint village.

You never think that a face so expressionless can cause so much havoc, but that’s geese for you.

I first got to play the title waiting in queues at EGX 2019, and what a way to make friends with strangers! In the space of ten minutes, we had gone from silent individuals to cheering each other on as we stole carrots, misplaces someone’s glasses, or completed a myriad of other tasks we were set. Untitled Goose Game is marketed as a single-player title, but in a way has a wonderful opportunity to connect and make it a multiplayer game.

Plus, none of us ever got bored of the opportunity to HONK at every possible opportunity, and I doubt you will, either.

Five areas to explore, that gradually become more and more intricate with its objectives and the first run of the game should take approximately two hours. Which is far too short. Sure, you gain an additional “To Do” list when you complete the main five areas, but making your own fun is surely the best part.

The music isn’t overbearing either; quite often, there isn’t any. The singular piano typically only comes into play when you complete objectives or are being chased by some (typically) very angry humans trying to reclaim their stuff. It brings a sense of urgency but also a slight element of comedy that reminds me somewhat of the use of the Benny Hill theme. But the sheer attention to detail for such a minimalistic art style is amazing. Sometimes, when you pick up certain items (e.g. the harmonica) and you honk, the sound will change – sometimes muffled, sometimes musical!

There’s just something about hiding with the gardener’s keys in the shrubbery behind him, or somehow getting the goose on tv (which is an actual objective in the second section by the way!) that has captivated people far quicker than many were expecting. By the end of 2019, the game had over a million downloads, was named as D.I.C.E’s Game of the Year, and nominated for Best Independent and Fresh Indie title at the 2019 Game Awards. It even topped Nintendo Switch charts upon release in multiple countries, beating out titles such as The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening that were released on the same day.

Untitled Goose Game is available on PC and Nintendo Switch now. 

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Second-year archaeology & history student and Culture Editor 2019/20. Loves archery and Assassin's Creed, and still hoping to one day find the doorway to Narnia.

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