“Cry havoc and let slip the . . . goose.” The stealth puzzle game developed by House House, “Untitled Goose Game,” is creating mayhem on Windows, macOS, and Nintendo Switch, and the game is catching on.
Australian developer House House describes the game this way: “It’s a lovely day in the village, and you are a horrible goose. Untitled Goose Game is a slapstick-stealth-sandbox, where you are a goose let loose on an unsuspecting village. Make your way around town, from people’s backyards to the high street shops to the village green, setting up pranks, stealing hats, honking a lot, and generally running everyone’s day.” Players control the goose’s ability to honk and flap their wings to surprise or annoy characters, or to use the goose’s beak to grab objects and cause problems. The village have multiple areas where you need to accomplish a series of tasks. By completing these tasks, you progress through the game and through the different areas of the village.
Gameplay is based on the goose attracting attention without getting caught, unlike other stealth games where attracting attention is bad. The objectives take a note from the assassinations from the Hitman series, only more as a joke than as missions. “It has a set-up and a punchline,” explains House House member Jake Strasser. “By removing the violence from it, we just let the situations exist as a joke.” As for the clever name, “Untitled Goose Game” came about as the result of a scramble to come up with a name after discovering that the game had been accepted to be shown at the Fantastic Arcade part of the Fantastic Fest in Texas. Having no other ideas, House House went with Untitled Goose Game, and the name stuck.
“We had very little expectation of attention,” says Strasser when speaking of the teaser that was shared on YouTube last year. “Within a matter of hours, we knew that something was up. The video had been watched maybe half a million times. The retweets started pouring in. We hit the number one spot on Reddit that night. We hadn’t realized what was on our hands.” You can pick up the game for a limited time at a discounted price of $14.99, but even the full price of $19.99 is worth the chance to cause some harmless mayhem as a villainous goose.