There’s something to be said about a game that’s not very long, seems expensive for what you get, and wins D.I.C.E.’s Game of the Year award. Untitled Goose Game will take you about three hours to finish and costs $19.99. The value seems a bit off especially when you consider triple-A games whose average cost are three times as much and can offer a zillion more hours in play time.
That last point is a bit of a trap though. In our discord channel, the topic came up about games we don’t finish. “Gamer backlog” certainly isn’t a new concept. I casually polled everyone on what games they haven’t finished and why. The majority of the games that were left unfinished were those triple-A games: Fire Emblem: Three Houses, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Witcher 3, The Outer Worlds, and the list goes on. And these are just console games; I’m sure Steam libraries exacerbate the problem exponentially. One of the main reasons that was a common thread with everyone who answered my poll was that they just got bored. Sure having a game offer hundreds of hours of gameplay may seem fun, but at some point it stops being engaging and more of a chore. Quests need to be completed, items need to be crafted, and areas need to be explored in order to feel like you’re getting your money’s worth and that you’re not leaving anything behind. At that point, finishing the game feels insurmountable. At least that how I felt and I’m willing to bet it’s the same for a lot of people that never finish games.
When polling our discord channel, my intent was to gather material for an article about games we never finish and why. But I couldn’t really figure out the angle, the main point of the article. And then along comes Untitled Goose Game to win the coveted D.I.C.E. award, challenging the norm. Twenty bucks. Three hours. Made by a small studio. Guaranteed completion. Voted to be Game of the Year by industry professionals. We need more games like this.
(Side note: there’s a game on Apple Arcade that I’ve been meaning to review but I might as well just mention it here. The game is called LEGO Builder’s Journey. It’s a level-by-level LEGO puzzle game where you have to build paths and objects to complete the objective. You can select pieces, rotate them, and place them all with a series of taps. Most of the objectives involved you helping this kid back to his dad. At least I think that’s what the story is. There’s no dialog or text or anything. And it’s short. And it’s complete-able. And one of my favorite LEGO games ever. If you’re an Apple Arcade subscriber and looking for a soothing and satisfying puzzle game, I highly recommend LEGO Builder’s Journey.)