Review: Untitled Goose Game

After a surprisingly successful launch on PC and Nintendo Switch, the Waddling Goose hit Playstation 4 and Xbox One just before Christmas. Of course we have not been left behind in the goose hunt and have taken a close look at the PS4 version.

In Untitled Goose Game you take on the role of a wild goose. It's your job to stir up trouble in the nearby village and eventually win that shiny prize. It's not a long job, but it's not the easiest one either. The short, but powerful and lively puzzle game keeps you busy with the 'story' for about 2 to 3 hours, after which you can perform a number of extra challenges.

Untitled Goose Game

As I said, you take on the role of a waddling goose to stir up trouble. You don't just do this on your own initiative. Although it is very laughable to mess around, the intention is that you cross certain assignments off your list. The drop is divided into 5 levels. In each level you get a checklist of assignments that you have to fulfill. The infamous quest 'rake in the lake' is one of these quests. You get this in the first level. As the assignment suggests, your task here is to throw a rake into the pond.
While executing these quests you are generally not doing the villagers a favor, but on the contrary. For example, the gardener will immediately chase you as soon as he realizes that you have his rake in your beak. The trick is to distract the gardener first, or grab the rake unseen and then mysteriously make it disappear.

The game is full of these kinds of puzzles where you have to move stuff, or get a series of stuff in one location at the same time. This way you have a shopping list with things that you have to put in a basket. The assignment is only crossed off once all items are in the basket. The trick here is to collect all the items before the person who owns these items realizes where these items are going. If you are caught, this person will see all 'mysteriously' disappeared items and they will be retrieved.

Short but sweet

The smart goose has waddled through the game within an hour or two. You can continue with additional assignments and time races, but in principle you won't see anything new after the first 5 levels you play. Afterwards you can walk through the five levels to complete extra tasks or try to solve each level within 6 minutes for a trophy. The extra assignments can be quite tough and you sometimes have to think about this. This is no different for the standard assignments throughout the story. Although these are usually a bit more obvious.
The game starts fairly simple in the garden with the gardener, but towards the end of the game in the cafe it quickly becomes a bit more spicy. You are not allowed to be seen here by the staff of the cafe. As soon as they see you they will chase you off the terrain. Strangely enough, you were less likely to be chased away in the previous levels. Almost towards the end of the story, all the levels come together and you have to go back to the beginning to collect your loot. Since your loot makes noise while you run, all the inhabitants will come after you, so you have to be extra careful during this final sprint.

Appearance

The game looks a bit like you're watching a cartoon. The clumsy residents and how they deal with the goose and the world around them remind you a bit of a cartoon world. It could just be a village from Buurman and Buurman. The look of the game therefore adds a certain vibe to the game and how the game plays. The somewhat unpredictability of the characters means that your second playthrough for extra trophies, for example, will look slightly different. There are no hard pre-programmed paths that the residents take, so you might experience much more difficulty the second time with the infamous 'rake in the lake' assignment, for example. This certainly also ensures that the game does not get boring, even if you have already spent a few hours in it.

Verdict

Untitled Goose Game is a short but very entertaining puzzle game where you can definitely have some fun after playing the story. There are plenty of objects in the world that you can play with and make life a bit miserable for all the residents by stirring up unrest like a blazing goose is something you should have crossed off your own 'to-do' list.


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