Perhaps you already heard about when Untitled Goose Game took the gaming world by storm. If you haven’t, I’m here to tell you that not only is this game good fun, it’s now available for Nintendo Switch, and you can check it out from the library! The game is built on a simple premise: a goose (that’s you, the player) wanders into an ordinary village to ruin everyone’s day. That’s it, and it’s fantastic.
One thing I liked as a newbie gamer is the game’s structure, in which you learn both in building blocks and by being creative. You unlock one area of the village at a time by crossing items off your to-do list (it’s a great list, including ‘lock the groundskeeper out of the garden’, ‘make someone buy back their own stuff’, ‘get on TV’, etc.) and each section lets you build skills and strategies that help you in the next, more complicated section of town. But there’s no particular order of tasks you have to do, and no instructions on how to get them done. You learn how to move the goose, make it pick things up and (very importantly) honk, and then your job is to wander, explore, and experiment until you figure out how to do things on your own. This makes it a good game to build your creativity and strategic skills in a low-stress environment, with simple, charming art and occasional musical accompaniment.
I was honestly surprised by how much I enjoyed being the town nuisance, moving people’s possessions around, chasing and honking at them. It was almost like a release valve for all my petty frustrations and rude impulses, and the structureless, low-stakes feel of the game made me feel free and empowered to take action (albeit impolite action) in the world. All in all I would recommend this game for all ages as a lighthearted romp with some psychological benefits.