#859 World of Goo

Posted: 7th November 2012 by Mulholland in Games
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192nd played so far

Genre: Puzzle
Platform: PC/Wii
Year of Release: 2008
Developer: 2D Boy
Publisher: 2D Boy

Okay, this is a game listed in the book for both the PC and the Wii but in reality we played it on an iPad. There is no real reason for this other than price and the fact that this looked like it would be great using touch controls.

Our Thoughts

Continuing the apparent theme of cute outside-darker inside World of Goo is rather messed up. On the surface this appears to be a sweet game about leading balls of goo (not too dissimilar to the soot sprites from the world of Studio Ghibli) towards a pipe which promises some unknown destiny. What you are actually doing is leading a cute species of goo balls towards their doom… it’s like the anti-Lemmings! What are these adorable pieces of goo being used for? Lots of things by the looks of it…

It’s actually a bit of a weird disconnect that’s been commented on before. You’re doing as much as you can to get these goo balls to the pipe so they can escape, which they do with glee, but when they get to where they are, they’re actually there to be used – made into more structures, almost wasted. Quite a sad fate when you think about it.

The physics of this game is what makes it look like an interesting puzzler. In order to help your goo balls meet their maker you use their inherently gooey nature to form structures like ladders, bridges and floating buildings like the house in Up. You have to be careful not to use all the goo too quickly because you can either run out of goo balls or have to start dismantling things whilst trying to maintain their structural integrity.

The way that these structures work depend a lot on the type of goo you use. The main type are the small black balls which can only be used once. Other types include large ones that need to be broken up, green ‘ivy’ goos that CAN be reused, red balloons and whitish ones that resemble drool (ew).

This becomes tricky quite quickly. Because the structures aren’t rigid, you can spend quite a bit of time trying to get them in place, only to have them collapse under their own bulk before you’ve had a chance to reinforce them, costing you plenty of goo balls. It’s frustrating, made worse by the game encouraging you to try again to get more balls out.

Final Thoughts

Most good puzzle games take a simple mechanic and run with it to make the puzzles more difficult, complex or otherwise different. This game is no exception. It’s challenging, but never in a way where you’re not sure what to do, it’s just a matter of figuring out the best way to do it. Just as challenging, but great fun too.