What could easily have been a tired exercise in fowl play turns out to be one of the funniest and most joyous games out in the past year.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

You are a goose.

More specifically, you’re a goose out to cause some trouble. At the start of the game you appear from the shrubbery like the malicious entity that you are. A quick swim across the lake brings you to a sleepy little village where you can inflict chaos upon all. These include a poor farmer, a child, and many others. You will steal their keys, radios, food, and livelihoods. They will flee before you up and down main street.

It made me laugh more than I’ve laughed in ages.

UNTITLED GOOSE GAME strikes a weird tonal balance rarely achieved in comedy games. If you controlled a human character, the game would feel mean-spirited and spiteful. There wouldn’t be any joy in playing a colossal jerk like this. But play a big fat goose waddling with a butt waggle, and the entire experience is turned upside down.

Suddenly stealing the glasses from a kid with bad eyesight becomes not just funny, but essential to accomplish.

Essentially a controllable LOONEY TUNES event, UNTITLED GOOSE GAME is a puzzle game masquerading as a goosing simulator.

Each area has a checklist of things to accomplish. The methods of how you accomplish them are entirely up to you. Want to grab the keys from the farmer? You better distract him somehow. You can hide in the bushes and surprise your victims with a well placed honk. Or you can sneak around on your tippy toes until you’re within pecking distance.

It’s all very silly and works best in short bursts rather than an extended playing session. The game is very easy to pick up and learn, and the intuitive controls work even when things get hectic. There’s something dementedly entertaining in running away from angry villagers with their stolen stuff, honking like a lunatic.

The wonderful soundtrack tracks your movements and the action on screen, adjusting itself to whatever chaos you create. The entire game is elevated thanks to your sneaking being timed perfectly with a co-conspiratorial piano.

UNTITLED GOOSE GAME is one of those nearly perfect little games that does everything right. It works for all ages and has just enough content to entertain you before the mayhem begins to feel stale. The “story” takes about three hours to complete, but there’s plenty of enjoyment in finding new ways to torment the villagers further.

While a unique take on the genre, it’s not exactly a reinvention, and it doesn’t have to be.

Sometimes you just need to honk out a bit.

UNTITLED GOOSE GAME is out now for every platform.

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