First was the Untitled Goose Game, and now there’s a new goose game with a title. Developed by Blastmode and published by PLAYISM, Mighty Goose is both a silly animal game and an effective homage to SNK’s Metal Slug. Mighty Goose has some issues that hold it back from its inspiration’s greatness, but it’s a cute romp that will probably make you laugh.
Mighty Goose Review
The titular Mighty Goose is an intergalactic bounty hunter with cybernetic arms and legs. He travels the galaxy hunting down wanted criminals in his egg-shaped ship, and has no problem blowing up his entire surroundings to get the job done. Goose has some allies trying to help him go about his business more professionally, but unfortunately for them Goose has an incredibly short temper.
Metal Slug is written all over this game. From the way enemies rush into the play area to the weapon upgrades dropping as crates (and narrated!), the homage is obvious. Also, the vehicles may as well have been ripped right out of SNK’s own software. But that doesn’t mean Mighty Goose doesn’t have its own gimmicks too.
As he battles, Goose grows angrier, and if the meter fills you can activate Mighty Mode. Goose goes into a rampage and is not only temporarily invincible, but he also brings additional firepower from his weapons seemingly by pure force of will. Goose also has a super effective dodge roll to help avoid damage, and can use his weapons to float in mid-air.
There are also some brief customization elements, allowing you to choose from passive boosts and partner characters. These options open up as you go through the game, and the boosts in particular are interesting. You’re given an energy meter of sorts, and each boost has a value. So at most you’ll only be able to use four or five at a time. But regardless of your choices, your core skill and dodging ability is your key to being a truly Mighty Goose.
Unfortunately this is where things get a little shaky. As much fun as it is to cause brazen destruction as a cyborg goose, the game goes a little too far with its visual effects. You get four hits before you die (and can find healing kits), but sometimes there’s so much happening on screen it obfuscates enemy projectiles. I mean this literally; it seems like things such as explosions either blend or overtake shot graphics.
This can make deaths feel cheap, and individual screens feel way too crowded. If you go back and look at Metal Slug there was always enough open space and visual clarity to make informed control decisions. Well, to the best of your ability. This is a key element to run and gun games being at their best, and Mighty Goose gets too cute for its own good.
That said, Mighty Goose isn’t a super punishing game. You’ll die plenty, but a checkpointing system will get you back in the action without a game over screen. You’ll be graded based on things like death numbers, but if you don’t care about that there’s nothing to worry about. A new game plus option also lets you explore all the unlocks a bit more thoroughly, but the pace is pretty quick either way.
I had a great time with Mighty Goose! Apparently there’s still plenty of humor left in the “geese doing crimes” genre. Between the funny goose-isms, excellent pixel art and fun weapons, there’s a lot to enjoy here. There are some fundamental missteps that make Mighty Goose fall a bit short, especially compared to its clear influences. There’s nothing wrong with derivative work of course, but it’s hard to be cool with cooking your own goose because you couldn't see what was going on.
- Goose humor is still good
- Metal Slug homage
- Neat customization options
- VFX can really hamper visibility
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review