Untitled Goose Game Review – Honk

I really want to fill this entire paragraph with honks. I really, really do, but I won’t. I promise I won’t just go honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk… Oh, I mean hello! This is Untitled Goose Game, HONK!

Untitled Goose Game is a name that has been floating around for a couple years now as a project about being a goose. As time went on, the title never actually got a different title, and thus we have the game titled Untitled Goose Game. Unlike the unfinished game though, Untitled Goose Game is not an unfinished product, and you can fulfill the dreams you never knew you had of being a goose and honking at everyone.

The concept is simple – be an annoying goose. Terrorize the city. Get shooed out of places but insist on going in anyways. THEY don’t need that hairbrush, YOU do, for you are a goose. However, for all your annoyingness, the game is actually heavily involved in being stealthy. Or, you know, you can just honk at an NPC for an hour, making them not able to go about whatever task they’re scripted to do.

From the beginning you get a very quick introduction to all you need to know about being a goose. You’ve got a button to duck (useful for making a quick getaway under a table), a button to flap your wings, a run button, a grab button, and, of course, a honk button. You can also zoom in and out, which can be useful for trying to spot where an NPC might currently be so you can get by them.

The major thing about Untitled Goose Game is it feels like it’s over as soon as you’re really getting into the thinker puzzles. At one point I booted it up thinking “oh yeah, I’m somewhere near the middle of the game!” and then I was actually on the second to last level. Now, that level did take me some time, mainly because I couldn’t quite figure out some of the objectives. I’d see how to do half of it but I couldn’t quite get to the finish without a bunch of honking around.

As a fan of puzzle games I do like when they make me think, and luckily the game is very forgiving and does allow for experimentation for solutions. There’s also times where you can almost get yourself “stuck” if you place something oddly and out of reach of an NPC, but you can unstick yourself simply by bringing it back to the NPC. Or, you know, you can just honk at them until they are out of your way, and then steal their slipper anyways. They don’t need that, I DO!

There’s also a matter of length. As I said, at a point in which I thought I was half done, it turned out I was almost done. It’s fairly short, clocking in at only a few honking hours. There are side objectives you can do – hidden until either you achieve them (in the main game) or until you beat the game – which can add some time. For all the looking forward to this I had though, I just can’t see myself going back to it. I’ve seen what there is to do, I’ve gotten through the story, I know how the AI behaves, what else do I need?

Speaking of the AI, it’s very, very repetitive. Everyone has a flow of tasks they do, and they will stick to them until you honk or steal an item. Once they’ve recovered from the honk (or brought the item back, if they can find it), they’ll just go back to their loop. It would have been nice to see a bit more variety. It also would’ve added a bit more spice to some puzzles.

While I did note the game felt finished, there are some things I do wish I could have had, just from the perspective of player quality. Some sort of map – especially a world map – to get my bearings down would have been wonderful. As I mentioned, a bigger AI loop to the NPCs would also be much appreciated. A free-for-all honking mode would be great too, but maybe that’s asking a bit much…

Untitled Goose Game is a great time waster if you’re looking for something to knock out in an evening. There are the bonus objectives to fulfill, and while I did make a wishlist item of a free-for-all honking mode, once you beat the game and get all the gates unlocked I guess you can technically go around just honking and not caring anymore. It’s a good little sandbox-stealth-puzzler game (albeit in need of a map), but if you’re looking for something more, this may not be the game for you.

Now if only that bouncer would forgive me for dropping a bucket on his head and tomato’ing his butt… All I want to do is honk at him and he shoos me away!

Untitled Goose Game is available on Nintendo Switch and PC. I haven’t heard anything on if you’ll be able to live the dream of being a goose and honking on other consoles, but we will see.

This review is based on a copy purchased by myself. I needed to honk. I was camping the store to be able to honk. I got to honk. I want to honk more. I want more puzzles to honk in.

Honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk.

You know, honestly, in all my time I’ve been near geese, they’ve never actually terrorized me. Honked, yeah because that’s just what they do, but I had the sense to just leave them be.

Honk, my tomato friend

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