Untitled Goose Game reviewed by Tom Marks on Nintendo Switch and PC.

That detail, that context, changes Goose Game from a merely competent brain-teaser into something far more coherent and fulfilling. Where most stealth games deal in the stark intensities of violence and death, Goose Game instead lowers the stakes back into the realm of comedy and slapstick, and comes off all the better for it.

As a goose, your goal is quite naturally to cause mischief and chaos around a quintessential English village by completing a to-do list of vaguely defined tasks, gradually unlocking access to more and more of the town as you go. The puzzle element largely comes from figuring out how to accomplish these goals (well, pranks) within the bounds of the game’s clockwork world, by eliciting varying reactions from villagers to your avian antics.

Hi, I’m a Goose, and This Is My Story

Maybe I should rewind a bit. I have the brain of a goose, after all. How big are geese brains? I don’t know.

I woke up in a quiet little field a little while ago. Green grass, some boulders, some trees. I shook my head from my nap, peeked out from a shrub, and began exploring. That immediately felt fun. (And it looked lovely, too. I took some photos. Don’t ask me how.) I saw a log, and I heard a voice tell me how to lower my neck to go under it. That was easy. Then I saw a tin can, and I got this sneaking sensation that I should bend down again and pick it up with my beak, which was also fun.

Then I saw a gate, but it was bolted shut. Hmm. I could tell I needed to duck my head to pull one post in the grass, then raise my head to yank another post. Clink, clank. Open!

… Ha. I said “duck.” That’s a bird joke.

Also, I can take my sweet time and ignore the list, but it’s a comforting thing to refer to. It gives me purpose. Sometimes, it’ll tell me to do something simple: pick something up, then drag it somewhere else. These little things always seem to annoy people. Why do I have to be annoying? I don’t know why my list asks me to annoy everyone. My first list suggested that I drag a farmer’s rake into a lake. “Rake in the lake,” ha! Honk! I laughed. I dragged the rake far enough, dropped it into the water, and laughed again.

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