Geese are angry creatures, sometimes scary creatures. Mighty Goose, from developer BlastMode, asks the question: if you gave a goose a power suit, some guns, and a tank, could they save the universe? Spoilers, yes, yes they could. As an action platformer for one or two players in a similar vein to the classic Metal Slug games, it puts you in the role of a goose strapped into a battle suit, given a small armory worth of weapons and sent to kill the evil Void King. Along the way, you will rescue some pigs, recruit companions like Regular Duck, and pilot heavy machinery. This all results in one of the most fun action platformers I’ve had in a long time.
To vanquish the Void King, you will have to use every gun in your arsenal. Mighty Goose will have multiple options at its disposal, including a machine gun that has a high rate of fire, an electricity gun with shots that can hit multiple enemies at once, or an immensely powerful shotgun that deals large amounts of damage and can shoot through groups of foes. These guns are dropped from enemies during the level or companions or bought using the in-game delivery service. Each drop comes with a set amount of ammo, but the drops are plentiful enough that you won’t be using the base arm cannon for long in each level.
I was really impressed with how varied each gun felt and found myself excited when a gun would drop that fit the situation I was in perfectly. Seeing the electric tendrils from the electricity gun zap hordes of my enemies that were packed close together never stopped being rewarding.
As you deal damage and dodge enemy attacks, you will fill a special bar. When full, you will gain access to the totality of goose anger. Seething flames encompass the Mighty Goose’s head, and that goosely-anger makes you nigh-invincible and flows through your guns, making them stronger and giving them additional properties for as long as you are powered up. There is a bit of strategy involved when picking when to use this ability. You can extend the duration of this mode by continuously shooting enemies, so activating it when you’re surrounded is when it is most beneficial because, as common knowledge dictates, geese grow stronger with the blood of their enemies.
In addition to the gun drops, you will also stumble on vehicles of warlike monocycles armed with machine guns, heavily plated tanks, and small mech suits with faces on them that could have been pulled straight out of the Guren Lagann anime. Each vehicle comes with a main weapon and sub-weapon. My personal favorite was the mech suit with its beam sword; It is perhaps the strongest of the vehicles and can usually be found in highly hidden areas of levels, making for a lovely incentive to explore,
The Mighty Goose also has access to special augments, which further improve and grant its abilities. Unlocked by completing levels or meeting other criteria, these range from granting more ammo from gun pickups to bringing a helicopter CRT television with a gun mounted to with you into each level. Every augment has a cost associated with it, and you can equip any combination of them so long as they don’t surpass the limit.
Gameplay is what you would expect from the genre, tasking you with a lot of running, jumping, and shooting. I’m happy to report that all of these things feel great, with responsive controls. Guns and shots feel weighty, and the vehicles feel sturdy and powerful. Levels are full of enemy fodder with a boss to finish off most stages.
For the most part, Mighty Goose really nails the retro action platform vibe that it strives for. That said, Mighty Goose is a very linear game. There is only a single path through the game, with levels having only a single exit. Levels never overstay their welcome, but the game’s linearity just left me wanting more, to give me more of a reason to explore and look around.
With the exception of New Game + which tasks you to replay the missions with harder levels, there is little incentive to replay Mighty Goose. And then, the harder missions add more enemies to fight through and don’t add any fancy new mechanics to the boss fights. A few more changes with New Game + would have been great to help entice replaying all the stages.
Some mechanics of Mighty Goose I felt weren’t brought to my attention either, only stumbling on them by luck. For most of my time with the game, I thought that the triangle button was a designated “honk” button, when in fact, it was for sub-weapons. These sub-weapons are unlocked similarly to the augments by completing levels. However, these sub-weapons are in a separate tab in the armory, which can be missed. I don’t recall any sort of pop-up mentioning them either.
One strange bug that repeated itself dealt with the auto-fire accessibility option. For weapons like the machine gun and the vehicle weapons, it worked really well. But when I ran out of ammo and was back using my arm blaster, it simply wouldn’t fire until I turned off the autofire option. It is a convenient feature and is imperative for some handicapped players, so it’s a bummer that it didn’t work properly at the time of this writing…
Mighty Goose has been one of the most fun, light-hearted games I have played this year. I love my lore-heavy RPGs and tense white-knuckle fighters, but sometimes a nice retro platform can be good for the soul. And while this game hasn’t lessened my distrust of the angry birds, you can believe that I anxiously await an announcement of a Mighty Goose 2.
Mighty Go is now available on PC, PlayStation 4/5 Xbox One / X/S, and Nintendo Switch. This game was reviewed on the PS5 with a review code provided by the game’s PR group.