Why Untitled Goose Game Became a Massive Hit

You know geese from their honk. You might have also seen videos of them attacking people for accidentally getting a little too close. If you ever encountered a goose standing in the middle of the road and challenge your car, then you know that geese can cause mayhem. You have to wonder if they had human intelligence if they could be a nightmare.

That’s the concept between House House’s surprise indie hit, Untitled Goose Game.

In Untitled Goose Game, you are in control of a white-feathered, orange-billed goose with a dedicated button for honking. You use your honk to chase people, scare them, or to get their attention. You can also grab objects in your beak, hide in bushes, and imitate a statue.

You use these gameplay mechanics to complete a checklist of puzzles. Most puzzles are built around stealing people’s precious possessions, or getting them to complete specific actions, like walking into a garage and then shutting the door, or luring someone to stand near a sprinkler so you can turn on the hose and get them wet.

But it won’t always be easy. If you get the order to actions wrong, many of the townspeople will chase you down and take the items back or begin to chase you off with a broom. 

At its core, it is a simple game. The project started as a joke among the four-person development team and was never meant to be a massive cultural indie hit of 2019 you probably didn’t play. Since release, the goose has become a meme that even spawned a computer application that lets a digital goose lose on your desktop to steals your cursor, moves icons, and periodically honks at you. Even celebrities were raving about their love for the game.

Why it Became a Hit

For being such a jerk, the goose is cute. Its waddle accurate. The honk, especially memorable. 

Oh, the honk! The honk will annoy not just to the fictional townspeople, but also those around you who will come over and inquire about what the heck is going on. The other sounds are excellent, too. When things go wrong, your goose stands up tall, spreads its wings, and begins running away while a fast-paced piano melody adapted from classical music plays in the background.

You have been foiled, so now you have to try again. The puzzles are both the best and worst part of the game. In many ways, they are clumsily made, but there is never a failure screen. When you mess up, you try again. You are rewarded for perpetually tormenting these poor townsfolk who are just going about their day. 

Perhaps most humorous is that the townspeople don’t get any wiser. After that carrot you stole is taken back, the townsperson places it back where it was initially, tempting you to try again.

This makes the game accessible. No matter your skill level, provided you have a console or PC, you will find a lot to like here. Though it is short and without much replayability, it is worth the price. Will there be a sequel? House House isn’t commenting on that right now, but given the success of the game, many people would love to see the goose return to wreak havoc on more people.