With how many new video games that are released every week, it is sometimes hard to stand out amongst the crowd. Indie games in particular have a hard time standing out unless they are already a part of a well established franchise or are made by a loved developer. The only other way to really stand out is to offer a unique experience that you can’t really find in other games. This is what initially intrigued me about Mighty Goose. How could you not take notice of a game about a galactic bounty hunting goose? While the shoot ’em up genre is not one of my favorites, the premise was interesting enough that I wanted to check it out. There are a few issues, but Mighty Goose is a fun action-packed shoot ’em up that fans of the genre or silly games in general should enjoy.
In Mighty Goose you play as the titular Mighty Goose. Mighty Goose is one of the galaxy’s greatest bounty hunters. The Void King threatens the galaxy with an army of minions and machines. Mighty Goose is called in to put an end to the Void King’s plans before the entire galaxy is put in danger.
Mighty Goose is for all intents and purposes a shoot ’em up game. Those familiar with the genre should know what to expect from the game as you can immediately see that the game’s inspiration came from series such as Metal Slug, Contra, and other shoot ’em ups from the 1990s. For those not familiar with the genre, the name of the genre is pretty self explanatory. The premise of each level to is to reach the end. Standing in your way is a bunch of enemies that you need to destroy with your blaster. You will start with a basic blaster, but you can pick up a number of different power ups in order to give you more powerful weapons for a short period of time. You can also occasionally unlock a vehicle that deals additional damage to enemies. Each time you get hit by an enemy’s attack you will lose one piece of health. There are health pickups scattered throughout the level, but if you run out of health you will be sent back to the last checkpoint. If you can reach the end of a level and beat the boss you will move onto the next level.
For some reason I have never had particularly strong feelings towards the shoot ’em up genre. The games are fun enough, but I wouldn’t really consider the genre to be one of my favorites. This is why the theme of the bounty hunting goose was one of the main reasons that I was initially intrigued by Mighty Goose. Despite not being a huge fan of the genre, I was honestly a little surprised by how much I enjoyed the gameplay. You can see the inspiration that the developers took from games such as the Metal Slug series as I can’t think of anything particularly original about the gameplay of Mighty Goose. The game does allow you to choose from a variety of upgrades and a support character which does allow you to change up the combat some to fit your own personal style. Still most of the gameplay revolves around shooting enemies and avoiding their attacks.
Despite this I still found the game to be quite enjoyable. I think this can be mostly attributed to the fact that the gameplay works. The game utilizes a fast paced style where you are constantly on the move shooting enemies and avoiding their attacks. The speed works well for the game as the combat is exciting and engaging. The gameplay does rely on a decent amount of button mashing, but there is skill to the game as well since if you don’t avoid enemy attacks you will die pretty quickly. I think the gameplay works because it is just really satisfying mowing down a large force of enemies since it makes you feel really powerful. Unless you hate the shoot ’em up genre, you should get at least some enjoyment out of Mighty Goose’s gameplay.
It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that a game that features a bounty hunting goose never takes itself too seriously. With that premise there really wasn’t a way where the game realistically could have gone with an atmosphere that wasn’t silly. The game never pretends to be serious and I think that works well for the game. The story is pretty simple, but cheesy enough to keep you entertained. The game also features a decent amount of jokes about the whole goose theme, some better than others. Other than the story the game’s graphics are quite good as well. The game uses a cartoony pixel art style which works well for the game. Basically you get what you would expect out of a game about a galactic bounty hunting goose. Those that like silly games should enjoy this aspect of Mighty Goose.
So what about the game’s overall difficulty? I wouldn’t consider myself to be a huge fan of the genre, so if you play a lot of games from this genre you likely will be better at the game than I was. Despite not being great at the genre, I still found the game to not be particularly difficulty. Yes I did die a number of ties throughout the game. When you die you are only sent back a little ways to the nearest checkpoint. Death isn’t a huge punishment as there are usually enough checkpoints where you don’t lose too much progress when you die. To help with the boss fights, you can save up all of the coins you acquire during a level and use them during the boss fight to unlock a vehicle for the fight. This makes the boss fights considerably easier as you will have more health and will also be able to inflict more damage. Ultimately I found the game to be moderately difficult. You have to try to avoid enemy fire, but if you at least try to keep your character safe, you should be able to beat most of the levels while only dying every so often. I don’t know if this is necessarily a good or bad thing. On the positive side the game never becomes frustrating where you die over and over again. On the negative side if you are looking for a real challenge you may be disappointed.
There is one thing that does add some difficulty to the game. As Mighty Goose is a fast paced action game, there will be bullets and various other objects flying through the air at any given time. While I like how this makes you feel really powerful, it does create some problems for the game. Mostly there can be so much going on at a time where you sometimes can’t even seen when an enemy shoots at you. This makes it considerably more challenging to avoid enemy fire. When you add in that the hit boxes aren’t always where you expect them to be, this can lead to some issues where you will take damage and there really wasn’t anything that you could have done to prevent it. If you are looking for a really precise game this might be a little frustrating.
The game’s easier difficulty does lead to the game not being particularly long. The game has a total of nine levels. I would say that most levels probably take around 10-15 minutes. This will obviously depend on how well you do as deaths will reset you to the last checkpoint making the level take longer. Ultimately I would say that it will take most players around 2.5-4 hours to beat the main game. After you beat the game you will gain access to the mirror levels which are the same as the main levels except that they are more difficult. I haven’t played through all of them yet, but I did find them more difficult which should add time to the game and provide more of a challenge. I still don’t see the game taking that long to beat even if you complete the mirror levels. At a $20 retail price, those that care about a game’s length may want to consider waiting for a sale.
Mighty Goose for the most part was what I was expecting. The game sticks pretty close to the typical shoot ’em up as it is pretty obvious that the game was taking inspiration from games such as the Metal slug series. You mostly just blast all of the enemies that get in your way while trying to avoid their attacks. While it might not be the most original, the gameplay works because it is quite satisfying mowing down enemies. The gameplay is really fast paced and has a good balance between simple button mashing and skill. The game never takes itself too serious which really works for it as the story is tongue in cheek and the graphics look nice. As for the difficulty the game was actually easier than I expected as I didn’t have too many troubles even though I don’t typically play a lot of games from this genre. The one thing that does add some challenge is the fact that it is sometimes hard to see the enemies’ projectiles. This ultimately leads to the game being on the short side which is disappointing as I was enjoying the game quite a bit when it ended.
If you have never been a big fan of shoot ’em ups or don’t care for the silly bounty hunter goose premise, Mighty Goose probably won’t be for you. If you are kind of turned off by the game’s short length, I would maybe wait for a sale. Otherwise if the game’s premise interests you at all, you should really enjoy Mighty Goose and should consider picking it up.
Buy Mighty Goose online: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4/5, Steam, Xbox One
We at Geeky Hobbies would like to thank Blastmode, MP2 Games, and PLAYISM for the review copy of Mighty Goose used for this review. Other than receiving a free copy of the game to review, we at Geeky Hobbies received no other compensation for this review. Receiving the review copy for free had no impact on the content of this review or the final score.