Author Archives: Kieran O Hara

What you may need to know

1. Stadia is Google’s foray into the $150bn game industry. There’s no console, as games are streamed up to a 4K resolution at 60 frames per second. It’s accessible via laptop, desktop, Chrome OS tablet, Pixel phone or on your TV using a Chromecast Ultra.

2. Stadia is not fully adopting the Netflix model, in that you still have to purchase most games rather than gain access to a library that you can choose from. The current pool of games is small, with headliners including Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption II.

3. A free base service will be coming next year, but for now there is only the option to pay for the Pro monthly subscription that will allow you to stream at higher rates and offer you access to some free games. To access the service you first need to purchase the Stadia Premier Edition for €129 which gets you a controller, a Chromecast Ultra and three months’ access to the Stadia Pro service.

4. Google seem to have gone to market with an MVP that they plan to iterate on. This might work for its software products, but hasn’t worked as they try to disrupt the mature console market. The product feels unfinished and is highly dependent on users’ internet speeds.

5. Stadia will improve as it evolves. More games will added, with online multiplayer, latency will improve, Youtube will be integrated, it will unshackle itself from the Pixel phone, 5G will become a reality.

6. Or… that won’t happen and Stadia will join all of the other products in the cemetery where things that we once loved are buried.

Kieran’s verdict: Still in beta.

What you may need to know

1. It’s a lovely morning in the village, and you are a horrible goose. So starts Untitled Goose Game in which you play the titular goose terrorising a quaint English village with a pleasingly annoying HONK!

2. On the surface, UGG is a stealth puzzle game in which your are set a series of tasks to complete. Alternatively, you use your goosey powers for evil by tormenting the locals, stealing their possessions, harassing shopkeepers and bullying bespectacled children to the point where your day can only get better by making someone else’s day much worse.

3. A bit like real geese, the dicks.

4. Goose Game’s plot is short – you can play the main storyline in under three hours. It also suffers from the same drawback as most single player puzzle games in that once you’ve beaten it you’ll be unlikely to return to the solve the riddle a second time.

5. That said, it’s still a joy to play. From the animation of the befuddled, plodding villagers to the classical score which rises and falls depending on whether you are chasing or being chased, who knew that being a sadistic goose could bring such pleasure?

6. The creator‘s previous effort was Push Me Pull You (2016), a game they described as being about friendship and wrestling. But that’s only true if your friends are human centipedes with heads at both ends. Oh and they can swap their human heads for dog heads. The gameplay is secondary to the insanity of the setup.

7. Untitled Goose Game is available now on PC and Mac via the Epic Games Store and for the Switch from the Nintendo eShop.

Kieran’s Verdict: Honking good fun.