Geese are jerks. When I was in high school, Canadian Geese would make a point of gathering around the track, so if you were running the mile, it wasn’t just out of determination to get the best possible time. It was to avoid the angry snapping of a murder bird. But, the geese I encountered in my youth and even now seemed to be berserkers with no planning or forethought. Untitled Goose Game’s goose is different. This is one dastardly rogue.
I know, it might be difficult to make such a blanket statement. After all, this is a character who is a silent antagonist and hollow shell. Yet, despite this, the to-do list of horror that updates whenever you reach a new part of town belies their true intentions. This bird is a monster, with a manifesto designed to hobble people, infuriate them, make them look foolish, and sow discord among the community. Untitled Goose Game’s goose is a monster.
There’s no hesitation with the goose. There is no remorse. The moment they happen upon the town, they set about their schemes. “What am I going to do? I’m going to steal all sorts of niceties to throw myself a little picnic. But, along the way, I’m going to make that farmer’s life hell.” That means finding ways to take his keys, get him wet, and ruin his tools. And, if he dares try to, I don’t know, stand up to the goose, then that living hellbird will rip the cap from that farmer’s head.
The goose did not need to lock the farmer out of his garden. They had already had their picnic. They had already won. But, they did it anyway.
Even though Untitled Goose Game’s goose is, well, just an allegedly dumb bird, the fiend has plenty of slick moves. People can waddle as normal, duck their head down to move a bit more stealthily and hide yourself in bushes or under tables, or fan out wings for a boisterous stance that makes you strut a little faster. You can honk, of course, which attracts attention or scares people away. It is possible to grab things while standing or bent over, allowing you to get items from different heights. Success becomes about recognizing how different things and people in the world react when you approach them in different ways.
Which brings us to the boy. The boy is the second innocent victim in the goose’s war on humanity, and the one that suffers some of the greatest indignities. The child is completely petrified by the goose, and this monster exploits that. Items are stolen. People are trapped. They are shamed. Sometimes, you can approach Untitled Goose Game’s laundry list of crimes in different manners, and one way to take something this young man needs to survive is to engage in an action that could quite possibly harm a normal person. Does history’s greatest monster, the goose, care?
Of course not.
Sephiroth. Ganon. Kefka. Pyramid Head. Now, the goose joins their ranks. When people play Untitled Goose Game, they have no chains holding them back. There are no shades of grey here. Black is the color of this fowl creature’s soul. It’s just up to the player how much devastation they will leave in their wake as they choose to either do the bare minimum tasks or eventually complete additional atrocities when the adventure is done.
Untitled Goose Game is available for the Nintendo Switch and PC.