Ask someone not abreast of modern videogames what a videogame is and Mighty Goose probably fits their thoughts – a game starring a goose with a machine gun arm traveling through space fighting evil magicians seems right.
It’s absurd, and Mighty Goose is proud of it. There’s no avoiding the Metal Slug influence, from the various obtainable ships, arcade-accurate length, and persistent explosive chaos. Mighty Goose doesn’t lean into its parody and that’s a mistake, yet what’s here proves generously entertaining. And aside from a honk, Mighty Goose’s silent protagonist is an inspired choice, even in a time of other goose-focused simulators. Those birds exist to kill, destroy, and torment. Might as well make one a hero.
Mighty Goose is unlikely to persist in gaming culture. It’s a short-lived blip, a Game Boy Advance throwback to when neo-16-bit ideas sparkled into existence. Drill Dozer comes to mind, in which a girl jumps into a machine, churning through dirt and steel. Mighty Goose is like that, but with a machine gun, swords, and missiles. In one sense, it’s not much of a game in lineage terms because it’s almost impossible to see incoming damage and even the secondary stages (with increased challenge) barely stall the appropriately named title character. Mighty Goose is all for show, something of a wink to those who demean videogames by proving them right, yet also being so absurdly fun, it’s expressively goofy and feels safe to be itself.