Mighty Goose Review: This retro run ‘n’ gun adventure isn’t a waddle in the park

(Image: PLAYISM)

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Geese are certainly enjoying their moment in the spotlight, with House House's Untitled Goose Game paving the way for this unforeseen success.

But that's the beauty of indie games, you never know what you’re going to get. This time around the species is waddling its way into Blastmode and Playism’s chaotic space adventure Mighty Goose.

Mighty Goose is a stylish run ‘n’ gun adventure that clearly pays homage to SNK’s classic Metal Slug. The story centres around the legendary bounty hunter Goose as he does battle with the Void King and his vast army.

Mighty Goose will travel to different planets battling hordes of enemies with his epic war machines whilst rescuing allies.

Mighty Goose can use one of his many war machines to take on enemies
(Image: Playism)

The plot of Mighty Goose is a fun ride with all the servings of a 90s cartoon. The comedic writing is top-notch with each character leaving a lasting impression. The plot may not be as in-depth as some may hope but it all falls into place and goes hand-in-hand with the fast pace of the game.

Mighty Goose looks stunning in its vibrant 16-bit world invoking all kinds of nostalgia with nods to classics like Metal Slug and the more recent Mercenary Kings.

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Mighty Goose’s character design is fairly simple but manages to look slick during cutscenes. His comedic animations are a sheer joy to watch and will undoubtedly create so many viral moments on social media.

Enemies designs start off feeling very unique but very quickly become repetitive as many of Void King reappear often throughout the game. The boss battles are fantastic with their intricate details making them feel fresh and unique.

Mighty Mode is visually stunning ability
(Image: Playism)

Visually Mighty Goose is a chaotic spectacle all the way through with all the little additions such as RGB split explosions, falling bullets, Mighty Mode and more making it stand out from so many indie games on the market. The soundtrack is awesome, with each retro sounding beat, adding an extra atmosphere to every situation.

The game does borrow Metal Slug's epic announcer, who also yells in an exaggerated manner at the start of a mission or when you pick up a new weapon.

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This throwback obviously isn’t original but clearly feels right at home in this game so it’s fully welcomed.

The gameplay in Mighty Goose is pretty straightforward, players will travel to different planets which serve as the various levels, and cause mayhem until the final boss battle. Each level is filled with objectives to complete with a bit of backtracking thankfully, each are pretty simple.

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There are various secrets to find throughout the game, but in a nutshell, players will simply run and gun a lot. The level designs may be simple but the action in Mighty Goose makes up for its linear direction. Gameplay always felt fun and frantic at all times, there really isn’t a dull moment in all honesty.

Boss battles are fantastic with each offering a very different challenge that feels so satisfying when defeated.

There's always more than enough enemies to take on
(Image: Playism)

Gameplay can get ridiculously crazy at certain points with dozens of enemies all attacking at the same time, even while you try to defeat the boss. This might be too chaotic for some, but some like myself will relish the challenge and embrace the anarchy.

The game is very generous with the amount of health littered around each level, so players won’t really feel in danger until those big moments.

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I did find that the checkpoints were unevenly spread throughout each stage, which proved brutal when your health finally depletes and you find yourself back at the start of the level.

However, players will get to grips with the gaming mechanics as there is a steep learning curve early on. Mighty Goose isn’t alone on this adventure as he has a host of companions that can be unlocked throughout the adventure.

There's so much chaos going on at all times
(Image: Playism)

Each companion is controlled by the CPU during single player, but once the co-op is unlocked your friend can jump in to help you against the hordes of enemies. Co-op is great fun but none of the characters really match up to Mighty Goose. Players will have access to Mighty Goose's normal gun at the beginning, which works a treat for the most part.

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But by using the in-game currency players can order new weapons and war machines to aid them. The game also has an Armoury that players can access before each mission. From here players can upgrade Mighty Goose with various new abilities and finally swap over the hilarious but useless honk attack.

Goose’s most glorious ability is his Mighty Mode, which not only looks slick but allows players to cause all kinds of carnage.

It can be hard to see enemy fire with some many explosions and effects on-screen at the same time
(Image: Playism)

Mighty Goose is a very short game which was slightly disappointing, the 2-3 hour action roller coaster left me wanting more. Saying that, outside of the main campaign there’s a fair amount to unlock which will keep the completionist occupied for a while.

I think that this will also be a big hit with speedrunners who will want to finish each level taking as little damage as possible for better ranks.

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Mighty Goose has a lot hidden beneath its brazen exterior and players will be surprised with the amount of depth within the game.

Level designs aren’t as elaborate as other games in the genre, however, there is so much action and diversity in combat that will keep players coming back for more.

The gaming mechanics are very intuitive, which is good because keeping track of all the action can be difficult at times, with bullets coming from every direction.

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The main thing that will make a huge difference at the start of the game is deciding whether to use the auto fire. It may come off as cheap but some gamers will relish this feature as it makes downing enemies and performing kickbacks easier before they get the machine gun.

Verdict

Mighty Goose doesn't really add anything new to the genre, but its over-emphasis of what makes run ‘n’ games great is where the beauty lies.

There really wasn’t a dull moment in this game with each adrenaline-packed level sending chills down my spine. There may prove to be a little too much chaos at times making it hard to ascertain what's actually happening but that’s an oversight.

My main issue is the length of the game which was bittersweet but left me wanting more. Mighty Goose’s punchy pixel visuals matched with its marvellous action makes it one of the best indie games out at the moment.

Mighty Goose is out now on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Linux, macOS, PlayStation 5

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