Games of the week
Untitled Goose Game
Platform: PC, Mac, Switch
Honk if you love causing mayhem
Who knew that the hero we were all missing in our lives was a white-feathered jerk? Untitled Goose Game invites you to invade the gentle peace of a sleepy village in the swaggering webbed feet of a honking great goose, tasking you with multiple to-do lists of hilarious mischief – from tripping up kids and stealing their glasses, to locking people out of their own gardens. Each and every element of the world is perfect, from the arrogant poise of your devilish avian avatar to the shocked reactions of the terrorised townsfolk. Sadly, it's all over too fast, but you won't play any other game this year that will make you laugh so much, act so badly and feel so good.
Skip to the end: 'Fowl' play has never been so much fun.
Children of Morta
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Children of Morta is an action RPG with an almost irresistible blend of Diablo's eerie dungeoneering and the homely personality of Legend of Zelda. You play as the Bergson family, ancestral guardians of a fantasy world threatened by dark forces, and each member wields distinct weaponry – the swordsman father, bow-twanging daughter, and so on. Combat feels very grindy and punishing but improves hugely when you unlock the more dynamic characters, and a smart levelling mechanic keeps you switching between the family as you progress, while co-op play enables neat character combinations. Levels and enemies are sorely lacking in variety but this is still a compelling adventure.
Skip to the end: Gorgeous pixelated battling but very slow start.
The Church in the Darkness
Platform: PC, Mac, Xbox One, PS4, Switch
The Church in the Darkness offers a simple mission. First, using stealth, sneak attacks and disguises, you must infiltrate a secretive cult by creeping through the isometric South American jungle base they call home. Then, you need to find and rescue your indoctrinated nephew, tracking him down by rifling through drawers or persuading cultists to talk. There's an odd attempt at replayability – the cult's leaders and faith are randomised each time you play, generating all-new nonsense for you to listen in on, but a variety of bland preachings can't forgive the sins of an undercooked and unenjoyable stealth mechanic, or the repetitive and uninspired level design.
Skip to the end: Dull and unengaging stealth with added religious guff.
Chaos sounds amusing, until you have to suffer it. That's the lesson of Golazo!, a silly soccer game for Switch. This is a cartoonified dollop of footie that pares back both the teams and rules, delivering seven-a-side matches with no fouls or off-sides and boosted by random power-ups that include super-strong shots or absurdly lethal tackles. At first, it's all harmless fun as you launch rocket-powered shots from the halfway line or run rings around opposition defenders, but you quickly realise the AI goalies are unbelievably unbeatable and being sliced down again and again without justice is deeply frustrating. If Golazo! had played by the rules, it could still have been joyfully light-hearted. Instead it's just miserably dumb.
Skip to the end: Frivolous footie that fails at the beautiful game.