Picture this: you’re a goose. That’s it. There’s nothing more to picture.
Luckily, by the end of this year, you will no longer have to torture yourself by using your imagination. That’s because this year, the developers at House House plan on releasing their much-awaited goose-themed video game going by the name of Untitled Goose Game. The premise? You play a goose hellbent on stirring mischief throughout an idyllic English village, Dennis the Menace style.
Whether it’s irony gone too far or humanity’s genuine sorrow at the lack of goose simulators, this quirky project has garnered heaps of attention from the public. So let’s take a gander.
The real challenge? Fitting in as many goose/bird puns as possible in this article.
How the Game Got its Wings
The idea for the project started off as a joke, surprisingly enough. House House, a developer from Melbourne, had been working on a shoestring budget for years. After the release of their first multiplayer game, Push Me Pull You, the team brainstormed ideas for their next title.
For some odd reason, the jocular idea of a goose simulator kept popping up, each time with a little more sincerity. Finally, everyone looked at each other in earnest awe, realizing that this yolk had just become a serious project. Goosebumps ensued.
So the team rolled up their sleeves and got to programming the game for PC. All the while, they were adamant that this game would barely register on the wider gaming market, being relegated to the farthest fringes of niche. But the internet is an unpredictable place, and the teaser trailer House House had posted on YouTube swiftly amassed views, much to their astonishment.
Shortly thereafter, the gaming industry caught sight of this, and House House found themselves with enough resources to also create a version for the Nintendo Switch. The game even featured in Melbourne’s PAX, and it found a publisher willing to pick up the bill on manufacturing and advertising.
More About the Gameplay
In essence, this is a stealth game. You are an impish goose, and your goal is to wreak pandemonium in a sleepy bucolic town. You will go about this fowl plan by snatching food from gardens, turning on sprinklers, and committing other such sadistic deeds.
Of course, this kind of high-level criminal activity will not go unnoticed. Farmers and other townsfolk will notice you playing loosey-goosey with the law and will promptly attempt to stop your rampage. Your goal is to avoid detection and/or capture while you go about your business.
At the start of a level, you receive a handy checklist (that you’ve written yourself, pen-on-paper in English, apparently) stating everything you must do. But before you set your cheeky ideas in motion, you first need to get the lay of the land. You need to waddle around, finding the optimal sequence of actions to bring your plans to fruition.
Once you’ve concocted a way to complete your task, you will have to do so with caution. Dodge NPCs going about their routine, sneak around in bushes and wait for the perfect moment to strike. A certain bold assassin with a certain numeric name comes to mind.
To be sure, the developers have no intention of playing all of this off seriously. So don’t expect your goose to honk all gruff-like a la Solid Snake. Rather, they’ve looked to the likes of Buster Keaton and Looney Toons for inspiration.
They also strived to create a sense of timelessness and a vague English-countryside-esque aesthetic. Whether this is meant as some sort of profound artistic statement is up in the air.
When Will We Play Untitled Goose Game?
Thus far, the only solid promise that House House has made is that both the PC and Switch version will be available at some time in 2019. Mac and Windows users will have first dibs via the Epic Games Store.
Epic Games has a habit of purchasing exclusivity rights lasting a year. So for that time, UGG will only be accessible through their platform. But should anything run afoul, you’ll be able to pick it up on Steam and Itch.io as well.
Horrible goose puns and a tinge of bafflement aside, Untitled Goose Game looks to be a barrel of fun. Some feather-weight comedy is always welcome in this gloomy world, and geese ruining a lovely morning in the village provide as good a laugh as any.