Weekly Time Waster: Chase Goose 2

It's not often that an internet game can make you tired. Hand cramps, maybe. Bored, all too often. But when's the last time you had to take a break because your fingers were winded? Well, Chase Goose 2 is devilish exercise for your fingers. We're no scientists (this is an art blog, after all), but it's probably good for your brain too.

Chase Goose 2 is basically all about multi-tasking, and, if we were any good at juggling, we'd probably say it's a lot like juggling. You play a goose being chased by a flying monster caterpillar (or something). Your goal is to move and keep moving so that you don't get eaten. In order to move at all, though, you need to repeatedly press the left and right arrows back and forth, as if they were your legs. On top of that, you have to jump from building-top to building-top in order to avoid falling to your doom. But this isn't a platformer by any means. And it's not really a full-fledged rhythm game either.

At the edge of every building is a clearly marked zone with a prompt above it. At the beginning of the game, the prompt is simply a letter - the game wants you to press that key on the keyboard and then jumps you safely to the next building. Then numbers appear. Then the game wants you to hold down the shift key. Then it starts asking you questions. Then it starts asking you questions in Spanish. Then it starts asking you math questions. Remember, this is while you're pressing the arrow keys with your right hand, shift with your pinky, and trying to run as fast as possible to avoid the caterpillar. When you're able to pull it off, it feels great. But once you get to the point where you're really at your capacity, you feel like you've got the coffee jitters: hands trembling, brain wired.

The game is a sequel/update to the original Chase Goose, which is pretty much exactly the same, except for it lacks the advanced questions and the cleaner aesthetic (we kind of dig that lo-tech monkey face chasing you down, though). The arrow-keys-as-legs idea reminded us of some of the ridiculously torturous games we've enjoyed in the past, such as the autonomous thigh-and-calf controls of the 100-meter dash game QWOP, which is also a worthy time waster -- not so much for the gameplay, but for making you ponder the eternal question: "Legs?" Yes, legs. Now go burn some finger fat.

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