Untitled Goose Game — one of 2019’s most popular and meme-able indie games — has had a major update, and it’s enough to give any fan goosebumps.
You may remember that we gave Untitled Goose Game a honking great 9/10 last September, saying we had found “something truly unique and special”. We also said that there’s a good chance that you’ll be passing the controller to your partner, and letting them experience life through the beady eyes of a naughty goose.
Well, pass the controller no more. Untitled Goose Game’s latest update lets you pass a Joy-Con or your second controller to your partner in crime so that you can terrorise this quaint little town as a duo.
So, although we’re about to look at the good and bad of what this mode brings, take it with a pinch of salt. This update is entirely free, so it’s literally all upside. The question is whether it’s worth reinstalling and updating just so you can mash that honk button some more.
First things first, you can pick up where you left off, taking your progress with you whether you play single player or multiplayer. The only difference is that now there are two geese who can let slip the honks of war. This is cool, but it will mean nothing to your second player — if you don’t know where you left your save file, imagine how they feel. Still, there’s no reason why you can’t start a new file and go looking for trouble.
Sadly, we have already covered all of the differences that the update has to offer. For those of you looking for a hot new adventure, you’re going to be disappointed. As much as it feels like looking a gift goose in the beak, there are no new missions or tasks on your to-do list. You just get to work through the same list of things, but with a friend. It’s still great fun, but if you and your second player have both played the game to death, there won’t be a huge amount for you here.
It’s also worth noting that although the geese look different — one has a basal knob — they don’t look different enough. Playing with my partner (a dedicated waterfowl enthusiast), we kept losing track of who was who, looking to the slight difference in the colour of the feet to differentiate the two.
It feels that this would be a simple fix to make the second player a Canada goose. Sure, it would take a little artistic license to make it work with the way the game looks, but that would have been a cost worth paying if it made the game easier to play. Given that a lot of people will be wanting to play with their kids, having more distinct skins would really help with younger players.
Last, but not least, it’s worth noting that geese mate for life. Presumably, this is shown in the game by the geese being so down when they are apart that they refuse to go any farther. If you try to go your separate ways, tackling different tasks, you’ll quickly find that the screen can only zoom out so far, and you both start bumping up against invisible walls. Obviously adding co-op to a game designed for single player is a major challenge, but it’s a shame not to have an adaptive split-screen as found in the LEGO games.
When you’re being batted away by an annoyed shopkeeper, while also trying not to get stuck behind a wall/hedge, you’re quickly going to find yourself stuck and one of you having to give up on your task. This is fine, but it means that the game will take a little more coordination, doing a single task at a time.
So, is it worth playing? Absolutely! Especially if you haven’t plucked up the courage to pick it up just yet. Even if you’ve played it to completion, a cool new way to play such a good game — and for free — is definitely welcome. You probably won’t find yourself spending hours with it, but it’s a great excuse to dust off your second controller of Switch and introduce the game to a friend in a new, more companionable way.