Where Your Goose is Cooked (And He Tastes Good)
Mighty Goose is a modern run-and-gun game inspired from games in the 1980s. As you explore various worlds in pursuit of defeating all evil, Goose is there to save the day and destroy those bad guys with lots of guns, explosions, and calamity through a concise and fun adventure.
As Mighty Goose (yup, that’s his name), a goose with a gun, it’s up to you to save various humanoid animal characters from imprisonment while following along against the paint-by-numbers bad guys. There’s some mild story beats at the start of each level to nudge you along, but I never found myself enjoying the story, let alone actually remembering what was happening. Instead, the moments where story threads were actually happening, were only there to set up the level and keep things moving. Luckily, the conversations for the story progression were minimal and quickly got me back into the mechanics of the game.
The presentation of Mighty Goose just oozes classic run-and-gun style: from the music, platforming, weapon options, and even the standing animation. The attention to detail, added with some modernization, quickly caught my attention. Even the movement of route enemies and bosses were really fun to check out, while also absolutely wrecking them.
The biggest drawback that kept happening for me was that it was sometimes difficult to keep track of everything. With projectiles flying everywhere, along with enemies, and companion partners to boot, things can get very chaotic, very quickly. Usually, this is a fun thing to try and manage, but in some of the areas, the background colors and the foreground colors of the enemies/ projectiles were very close to see. This blending made it much more challenging to identify trouble and hampered the flow of the experience. If the contrast was a bit sharper, or outlines more clearly defined, perhaps that could resolve the issue.
The gameplay is a great modern adaptation of the run-and-gun games from the 1980s and ‘90s. As Goose, you traverse through each level-based scenario, all the while blasting your way through loads of enemies, minimizing your own damage, while also collecting valuable health packs and ammo for the various weapons. The game does a really nice job at making you feel powerful while you’re onslaughting the enemies, while also cranking the difficulty just high enough to make sure you balance total carnage with health management. This isn’t a game that you can solely run-and-gun without forethought. Instead, you run-and-gun then dodge a bit, then run-and-gun again, and so on. This broke up the monotony quite a bit and helped me focus on my precision and not rely on blind fury.
The original layout of the game also requires players to constantly mash the shoot button. After about a minute of this. Happily, you can toggle the shoot button from mashing to simply a hold shoot (which I 100% suggest, simply for the fact that it will enhance the experience and not force your finger to cramp almost instantly).
With Mighty Goose being level-based, one of the major aspects is what happens in between those levels through customizing Goose. The three options to customize (Secondary Weapon, Companion, and and Energy Use) offer a wide variety to adhere to your personal gaming preferences. As you progress through the game, you’ll unlock a variety of abilities that you can turn on to slightly adjust Goose. One allows you to increase your movement speed, another can give you access to a second jump, and so on. However, you can’t simply use all of these adjustments all at once. Each has an energy cost, which takes away from your base 100 amount. This really made for some fun combinations and experiments to see what combos worked best for me and which ones were hard no’s.
In addition to these modifiers, you can also adjust your Secondary Weapon. This alternative to your base attack adds some more options, though most I found were not intriguing and useless. I seldom used the Secondary Weapon because it usually interrupted my run-and-gun flow, and I usually just forgot I had the option to use it.
Companions is another modernized add on to Mighty Goose, which I really enjoyed. Following the trend of adding more options, companions are characters that you rescue (either through the storyline or found hidden in levels). They each have a unique aesthetic and perk. Commander Vark, someone you meet early on, follows along and gives unlimited machine gun ammo to you. I found this perfect for me because I just never let up on the shooting, so knowing that I would never run out of ammo made things easier for me. Some other companions have similar abilities, but I quickly settled in with Vark for the long haul.
My favorite part of Mighty Goose were the various boss fights. Though they were a bit repetitive overall, they provided a slight difficulty boost that I was excited to push through. These boss fights were also where I mainly focused on adjusting my Secondary Weapon, Companions, and Energy Use Abilities to best suit the needs of the enemy. There was one fight that I particularly enjoyed, but when I realized he was the final boss, I was bummed that it felt like Mighty Goose was just beginning. Luckily, there is a New Game+ mode that ramps up the challenge.
Overall: 7.5 Out of 10
Mighty Goose is a good game that packs a lot of excitement in a condensed four hour adventure. Though the story is less than exciting, the gameplay is compelling and fun. Blastmode did a great job with their latest game and I look forward to seeing what’s in the future.
A copy was provided by the publisher for the purposes of this review on Nintendo Switch.
Follow Harry Loizides, to hear all about his love for niche indie games on Instagram and Twitter.
A version of this review is also posted on Six One Indie.