Loco Roco…Patapon…Space Giraffe…[/align]
Every once in awhile there’s a game that comes out that makes you think, “What the f**k is this…?” It’s so strange and so off the wall that it sticks out in your just because you aren’t quite sure what to consider it as. The World of Goo happens to be one of these. As a simple, fun game from indie, in trouble, developer, 2D Body, World of Goo is quite interesting and hard to describe.
If it had to be placed into a genre, I would stick it in the “puzzle” folder with a plot through small scenes. The story is basically about these living balls of Goo called Goo Balls. The Goo Balls were original sleeping creatures but when the evil World of Goo Corporation comes around, they start to stir. Strange pipes appear throughout the land and being the curious little critters they are, the Goo Balls awaken to explore these new pipes. However, they never heard the phrase, “curiosity killed the cat”. The Goo Balls find themselves getting sucked up and wanting to escape.
With each level, hints on how to complete the puzzle appear by a mysterious person known as the Sign Painter. Is the Painter a friend willing to help the Goos or is he only trying to build up the Goos curiosity and make them want to go into the pipe more…? That’s for us to figure out.
The objective is to reach the pipe by either building towers, bridges, or climb up walls. To do this, the Goos stick together. There’s a variety of species of Goos; some when they stick to another Goo can never move again while others can split apart to be used again. Each level has a set number of Goos that must be sucked up into the pipe in order to go onto the next level.
The puzzles rely heavily on physics. If one side of your tower is heavier than the other, it will lean over and fall. If you don’t build support for the bridge, it will collapse and so on. This adds some strategy and a bit of a challenge to the game as you try to each the pipes while making your way around the obstacles in the world like statues that might block an easy path to the pipe or spinning wheels that will grinned a Goo up if it falls into it.
Like all puzzle games, some are difficult and require some thinking while others are fairly simple and allow you to breeze through them quickly. There’s a nice ratio in easy and hard puzzles, making the game not too simple but also not too frustrating if you can’t figure out the proper structure. Anyone who uses a PC or Mac will use a mouse while WiiWare players will use the Wiimote. Either way works well for dragging and dropping Goo balls around, making the game accessible to a variety of people.
All of this takes place in a beautiful designed world. The music is nicely done and relaxing which ties in nicely with game’s art style. World of Goo contains 48 entertaining levels that I’ve enjoyed and honestly makes me sad that 2D Boy fell onto such hard times with their master piece.