September 20, 2019, was a great day for the Nintendo Switch, with the release of a new system and a remake of a classic Zelda game. Though I haven’t had the chance to try the Switch Lite or finish Link’s Awakening, I have been able to spend some time as the internet’s favorite animal friend in Untitled Goose Game. I’ve been avoiding news and social media on this game to avoid spoilers and to prevent having any preconceived notions on the game before I get to experience it myself.
Untitled Goose Game has the honor of being my first review on Framelag.com, and I don’t think there’s a game more fitting as I will probably keep my reviews short and sweet, just like the Untitled Goose Game. I like to focus on positives and general experience, and I believe my final thoughts will give you a way better idea of how I feel about a game, instead of just the final score.
Self-described as a “slapstick-stealth-sandbox,” where you play as a “horrible goose,” Untitled Goose Game is simple to get into. Plus, there’s a dedicated “honk” button that sees plenty of use during the game. The controls are straight forward and the introduction, where the game goes over the controls and how to play, allows the player to get immersed into the world and begin to discover things on their own right off the bat. The only guidelines the game eventually gives you are the “to-do lists,” which act as objectives that you can complete, or not. And that’s part of the charm. It does really have this sandbox feel where experimentation is just downright fun and rewarding. As you complete more of the “to-do list,” you’ll unlock more areas in the village.
Honestly, I get some Zelda: Breath of the Wild vibes while playing the game. It also feels similar to The Incredible Machine, a game we played in the computer lab during our elementary school days. The reason for these comparisons is very much due to the sandbox gameplay of just trying things out and seeing what happens, hoping to complete the puzzle or objective. Untitled Goose Game, however, accomplishes this in a light-hearted and charming presentation. You truly are a “horrible goose” and the villagers must submit to the “honk.” I probably spent half my time accomplishing the “to-do list” and the other half just messing with the villagers and seeing what happens if I tried this “one last thing.”
I must admit though, stealth isn’t my favorite genre or mission-type, but Untitled Goose Game makes this aspect simple and streamlined. It felt good setting up distractions and narrowly escaping the villagers as a goose enjoying a typical day-in-the-life. The game wraps up in a very fitting and thoughtful way, and I was surprised to see end game content.
The graphics are definitely simple, yet charming. The villagers and the goose are all lively and display a range of emotions. If I could describe it in one word, I’d probably choose “endearing.”
Music and Sound
I believe the music in Untitled Goose Game is well done. Most would probably say it’s either too simple or barely even there at all. But the use of music is where this game shines. When things are happening on screen or to create a certain mood, the music was able to do it with just a few instruments or even just a few notes. There’s no sweeping sound selection, but the sounds and music were very intentional and I definitely appreciated it.
Even though it released on a pretty stacked day for Nintendo Fans, Untitled Goose Game was still able to garner attention and accolades, and I’m part of the group that thoroughly enjoyed what House House has delivered. Even with the simple presentation in graphics and sound, the gameplay is where it shines. It’s an accessible game where the player is left to truly explore the world and mechanics on their own. The “slapstick” humor comes through because the players control a goose who’s having their way with the villagers. It can be completed in a few hours, but that time is filled with “a-ha” moments and smiles as you witness the villagers cope with their new visitor. The game is just special because it feels so unique. It takes ideas we’re familiar with but presents it in a world that is quirky, interesting, and full of character. Definitely recommended, or at least give it a try. Untitled Goose Game is another indie gem on the Nintendo Switch and PC.