Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 17 October 2019

What is 'Untitled Goose Game'? The unlikely chart-topping game explained...sort of

If you have ever fancied channelling your inner horrible goose and causing chaos, this is the game for you

'Untitled Goose Game', a game about a horrible goose, that costs less than Dh55 to download, has become an unlikely success. Courtesy House House 
'Untitled Goose Game', a game about a horrible goose, that costs less than Dh55 to download, has become an unlikely success. Courtesy House House 

It's only been out for a little over a week, but the Untitled Goose Game has become an unexpected runaway gaming success – topping Nintendo Switch charts in both the UK and Australia. But what is it all about?

The game transports the player to a quiet village and, essentially, turns them into a horrible goose.

"It's a lovely day in the village, and you are a horrible goose," Australian developer House House explains on its website. "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 peoples' back gardens to the high street shops to the village green, setting up pranks, stealing hats, honking a lot, and generally ruining everyone’s day."

A gardener is an early victim of the titular horrible goose. Courtesy House House 
A gardener is an early victim of the titular horrible goose. Courtesy House House

The game was released on Friday, September 20, and can be downloaded on PC, Mac or Nintendo Switch. Downloading the game costs $13.99 (Dh51), but it is currently reduced to $10.99.

The idea came after a photo of a goose was shared in a group chat between game developers. According to the BBC, the small team went on to discuss at length what made geese so amusing.

The developers jokingly pondered if it was the noises they make, their "frowning faces" or orange and white colouring that make them so funny.

As you get further in 'Untitled Goose Game', you move into other parts of the quiet English village. Courtesy House House 
As you get further in 'Untitled Goose Game', you move into other parts of the quiet English village. Courtesy House House

"We had very little expectation of attention," Jake Strasser from House House studio told the BBC, of the teaser they shared on YouTube over a year ago.

"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 realised what was on our hands."

The teaser clip, which has now had almost 700,000 views, sees a mischievous cartoon goose steal a sandwich, break into an allotment garden and pester an unsuspecting gardener – as the player, you control the trouble the titular creature gets into.

Why is 'Untitled Goose Game' so popular?

"This has the potential to be the single greatest video game ever made, in the history of the world," one eager YouTuber commented of the trailer. While another added, "I can finally be a goose. Thank you House House."

A more earnest fan wrote, "The graphics are so lovely! The style reminds me a bit of [third-person puzzle-action video game] Katamari Damacy."

The key to the game's popularity seems to be in its humour and simplicity; many early fans have compared it to a children's television show.

Gamer Arlo has reviewed Untitled Goose Game, saying that the "year long wait [since the teaser trailer was released] had been downright agonising".

"When you start playing, it's immediately obvious how much care was put into the way the goose moves ... the way it waddles," he says, commentating over footage of himself playing the game. Adding that he "loved" playing the game.

"I think the goose character allows people to be this source of mischief that lots of people desire being in video games," developer Nico Disseldorp told the BBC.

Updated: October 2, 2019 01:56 PM

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