Mighty Goose

A game by Blastmode for PC, Mac, Linux, Switch, PS5, PS4, and Xbox One, originally released in 2021.
Mighty Goose is a run-and-gun shooter that takes its inspirations from classic arcade games, especially the Metal Slug series, and it's playable via 1P or 2P co-op. You take on the role of the eponymous Mighty Goose, one of the galaxy’s greatest bounty hunters, as he embarks on a mission to defeat the maniacal conqueror known as the Void King. Mighty Goose pilots a giant goose-shaped ship as he travels between planets and installations, all the while accompanied by his radio operator, Chonk, who fills him in on mission intel.
But Chonk isn’t your only support… throughout the game, you encounter various anthropomorphized animals in need of rescue – some of whom are hidden – but once you get them back to your ship, you can call on any one of them to accompany you on your next mission. Each animal companion has different capabilities and will attack enemies with melee weapons or projectiles, and some have secondary support skills, such as a pig named Weaponmaster Vark who occasionally drops machine gun ammo so you can rain hell on your enemies.
You begin with an infinite-ammo blaster that fires as quickly as you can pull the trigger, which you’ll need to do a lot because the game is packed with furious action moments, so you may wish to enable auto fire via the Options menu. There are also four limited-ammo special weapons that you can equip, each of which temporarily takes the place of your previously-equipped weapon until its ammo is depleted, at which point you revert back to your default blaster. Your weapons can be aimed in four directions (down while jumping), and shooting downward while jumping not only allows you to target enemies below you, but it also drastically slows your descent, allowing you to hover in the air and cross large gaps.
The machine gun, as expected, unleashes a barrage of bullets, but the player still needs to hammer the FIRE button to keep shooting (another good reason to enable auto fire). These projectiles aren’t terribly powerful, but their sheer speed and volume is enough to tear through weaker enemies quickly, and hold back enemies advancing on your position. You'll often find yourself swarmed by enemies coming from the left, right, and above, and the machine gun is a great all-purpose crowd control tool.
The shotgun is extremely powerful, has a moderate range, and penetrates enemies (including those with shields), allowing you to take down rows of bad guys with just one or two shots, including some larger enemies and enemy drop-crates. In addition, shooting downward with this weapon not only allows you to hover, but it actually propels you upward. As such, you can reach high platforms that are otherwise inaccessible, leading to secrets and combat vehicles. Also, if you’re doing poorly and die several times in a row, a delivery truck will show up and drop some shotgun ammo for you.
The other two weapons appear with much lower frequency, and these come in the form of a heat-seeking rocket launcher and a Tesla cannon that shoots beams that chain between multiple enemies. With these weapons, you can blast your way through multiple enemies with ease, and wipe out huge chunks of boss health meters before running out of ammo. While these weapons only appear rarely as drops, you can summon a delivery driver to drop ammo for your weapon of choice, provided you have enough coins to pay for it. Coins are dropped from destroyed enemies and objects, and the shop – which appears as a smartphone app – can be accessed at any time by pausing the game.
The other thing you can purchase from the shop is a one-wheeled motorcycle-like vehicle that lets you rip through levels at high speeds and perform dashes, and it's equipped with an infinite-ammo machine gun with 360 degree aim (the gun slowly turns to face the direction you’re aiming). This vehicle – like all others – has its own 4-unit health meter, allowing you to not only unleash heavy damage but to protect yourself as well. On rare occasions, you encounter a toolbox that restores the vehicle's health to full, but otherwise, it’s lost as soon as it’s destroyed. The player can exit most vehicles whenever he likes in order to access areas that certain vehicles cannot reach, such as high platforms or tight spaces.
There are four vehicles in all, most of which are found along your main route through the level, while others are hidden in out-of-the-way areas, either parked or appearing as supply crate drops. Aside from the motorcycle, the other common vehicle is an armored tank that very much looks like something drawn out of a Metal Slug game. Even the floating arrow with the word “IN” is reminiscent of Metal Slug. The tank is a bit slower than the motorcycle but it can instantly kill any weak ground-based enemies it runs into, and it also has an infinite-ammo machine gun with 360 degree aim, along with a limited supply of lobbed explosives.
Other vehicles include a mech with powerful melee strikes that can also dash and perform double jumps, and a jet that flies freely through the air, firing only to the right with an infinite-ammo machine gun and a limited stock of heat-seeking missiles. The player cannot freely exit the jet, as these play out as short shmup sequences, with the player exiting the vehicle automatically when the challenge ends.
Of note is the fact that many levels contain secrets or alternate routes. For instance, one level allows you to take a low road to find a temple entrance, whereas the high road results in a jet shmup sequence and an encounter with a character that you don’t meet on the low road. Both routes eventually join up and lead to the same finale. Watchful players can find secrets by paying close attention to their surroundings, and sometimes these routes lead to entirely new themed areas.
Beyond his weapons and vehicles, Mighty Goose is a pretty standard shooting hero, with a 2x variable jump and a dodge roll (which can be combined with a jump to cover a long distance), as well as the ability to duck and crawl… although his crawling speed is incredibly slow. Interestingly, the goose cannot use the shotgun while crawling, but rather reverts back to his default blaster, making him less capable of dealing with enemies in tight spaces. In later levels, these tight spaces are often populated with bug-like creatures that travel in large numbers, making it imperative that you wipe them out as quickly as possible.
Finally, there is a meter that fills whenever the player kills enemies, and when it reaches its max, the player can activate Mighty Mode. Mighty Mode makes the player invincible to most attacks and drastically increases his firepower. The meter drains quickly, but killing enemies continues to fill it, so it’s possible to keep Mighty Mode going for a while. This is a great option for when the player is being attacked by numerous powerful foes and it can quickly change the tide of any boss encounter.
The goose has a 4-unit health meter that can only be refilled by collecting health packs, which restore the meter to full. Checkpoints are spread quite far, so the player can expect a lot of repeated gameplay if he fails. In particular, the third mission takes place in a battle arena that has no checkpoints, so getting killed at any point – even during the final boss encounter – requires the player to restart the level from scratch. Given how easy it is to lose a lot of progress, the player must to remain ever vigilant to deal with enemies quickly, perform crowd control, and prioritize threats, lest he become overwhelmed. There is a death brushing effect that slows the action when the player is about to take damage, but given the frequent onscreen chaos, it’s often difficult to tell where the potential damage is coming from.
The game is absolutely packed with particle effects, explosions, bullets, shell casings, and other effects that intensify the action, along with an announcer that exuberantly yells the name of any weapon you pick up. It can become overwhelming, but it’s mostly manageable if you’re careful about prioritizing your targets. Weak popcorn enemies can be plowed through with the machine gun or shotgun, while shielded enemies need to be attacked from above or with an up-close melee strike, and flying enemies require a bit more precision.
Occasionally, super powerful enemies are dropped into the level, including a few varieties of armored vehicles. These can absorb a huge amount of damage before being destroyed (sometimes accompanied by a cool slow motion effect), so it’s imperative that you dodge their projectiles while keeping enemies off your back long enough to focus your shots. As expected, bosses are huge damage sponges, but their movements aren’t terribly complex, so you need to stay on the move and watch for opportunities to deliver heavy damage. It’s also important to note that many projectiles like missiles and bombs can be cancelled out with your own weapons, so you can avoid taking damage by shooting these projectiles out of the air.
Levels are laid out on a world map, and you move your ship between them. By completing levels – and certain objectives within levels – you unlock secondary weapons and abilities. These abilities include a faster movement speed, a double jump, a charge attack for your blaster, getting more ammo with each pickup, and unleashing a shockwave when you take damage. Each of these abilities consumes a certain amount of energy, so you’re limited in the number you can equip simultaneously. Secondary weapons include bombs, the ability to slow down time, and the ability summon support characters, among others.
There is a score system in place, as well as a combo meter that racks up as you string together kills and destruction, and each level ends with a letter rank and a summary showing your clear time, number of kills, and number of deaths. To get the highest ranks, players are encouraged to dive headlong into the action, moving from one enemy encounter to the next and destroying the enemies as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Aesthetically, the game takes a full-gonzo approach, delivering bright colors, charming character and vehicle designs, and a massive amount of stuff going on at any given time. There’s a bit of humor as well, such as the giant metal egg that drops from your ship at the start of each level (which is unfortunately unskippable on future playthroughs), the occasional honking of your goose during heavy action scenes, and the announcer voice when grabbing weapon pickups. The action is accompanied by an appropriately upbeat soundtrack that mixes synth, rock, and jazz. A New Game+ opens once the main game is completed, offering the same set of levels but populated with way more enemies.

Mighty Goose was developed by Blastmode, a studio based in the Netherlands and founded by Richard Lems. Richard was the gameplay programmer, lead artist, and sound effects designer for the game, and he also works for TurtleBlaze, another Netherlandic studio, and created the art for Kunai and Road Warriors. Mathias Kaertev was the game engine programmer, Diane de Wilde was the pixel artist and animator, and Joshua Tomar provided the voice of the announcer. Music for the game was composed by Dominic Ninmark, who previously created music for Blazing Chrome and Gravity Circuit. The game was developed using Construct 3 and was co-developed and ported by MP2 Games.
The game was published by Playism / Active Gaming Media, which also published Kero Blaster, Pink Hour, Pink Heaven, Gunhound EX, Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight, Hakoniwa Explorer Plus, Touhou Luna Nights, Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth, La Mulana 2, and some versions of La-Mulana.