Why We’re Spending Our Gaming Time Playing as a Mischievous Goose

Over the last two decades, as the generation that came of age with console games grew up and graphics became more realistic, many developers shifted their focus to rated M-for-mature subject matter. The folks who once brought us Crash Bandicoot, for example, eventually abandoned marsupials in favour of The Last of Us, a post-apocalyptic shooter series about cannibals. But now, in 2019, hyper-realistic violence has started to feel a bit…played out. Hence one of this summer’s unexpected best-sellers: a remake of 1999’s Crash Team Racing. Meanwhile, Nintendo recently unveiled its best handheld since the Game Boy Advance, and Apple’s new subscription gaming service has introduced us to a slew of wonderfully colourful mobile gems. Granted, the year’s breakout computer game does invite you to play as the embodiment of pure evil…but in the form of a villainous British goose. In other words, it’s never been easier to recapture the joys of innocence. Here’s your guide to gaming’s new playing field.

[START] the Fire

If you thought terrorizing Los Santos in Grand Theft Auto was fun, wait until you try wreaking havoc on a sleepy British village…as a goose? The art direction gives each level of Untitled Goose Game the look of a quaint story book illustration, but don’t mistake the game’s star for Mother Goose — it’s out to steal keys, tip over garbage cans, and lock unsuspecting citizens in phone booths. Officially, your new favourite way to decompress after the workday.



Top [SELECT]ion

We’ve come a long way since Snake. Apple Arcade grants access to more than 100 games that all skew far weirder and more wonderful than anything we’ve ever played on a phone (Or iPad. Or Apple TV.). Sayonara Wild Hearts is essentially a mashup of a racing game and a synth-pop music video narrated by Queen Latifah, while Hot Lava tasks you with jumping over molten rock. Both are perfect for dipping your toe back into the waters — but not the lava — of modern gaming.


For the [A] to [B] Commute

The new Nintendo Switch Lite streamlines the gaming giant’s hit hybrid console into a more compact form factor designed purely for portable play. Essentially, it’s a Game Boy for 2019 — with throwback-filled games that include the first fully 3-D Pokémon adventure, a remake of 1993’s The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, and Luigi’s Mansion 3 starring our favourite Mario brother. Childhood nostalgia plus cutting-edge tech: a winning combo.

$260 for console, $80 each for games