World of Goo Review

World of Goo’s addictive nature makes it one of the most creative puzzle games ever released.

World of Goo is an innovative and casual puzzler created by the independent developer 2D Boy. Its addictive nature makes it unique and amazing, just like Tetris when it was first released. The game looks really simple at first, but its deep gameplay, great level design and special atmosphere make it an enjoyable experience that you are not likely to forget any time soon.

The main objective in World of Goo is to guide little goo balls to a pipe that represents the exit while overcoming different difficulties in the terrain. You’ll accomplish this by forming bridges, towers or other weird structures liberating the goo balls and consequently completing the level. In order to do so, the levels require you to “free” certain amount goo balls to move on, but if a particular level gets extremely hard you may always use one of the roaming time bugs to go back to your last move instead of having to restart the level.

Gravity is a force that you constantly have to take into account as World of Goo’s engine is strongly based on real physics. If you don’t want your towers to collapse or your bridges to fall, you’ll need to use certain elements to help you overcome these difficulties, like balloons. The game forces you to carefully think before constructing or doing something unreasonable putting constant pressure on you. Most levels include various traps like windmills, gears, swamps or spikes that can instantly kill your goo balls or easily destroy your bridges and structures. The first challenges are easier than they look, but after the first chapter ends the situation changes completely and you’ll spend a lot of time experimenting possible solutions until you finally succeed.

Is this the famous bottleneck effect?

There are different types of goo balls that have unique abilities that need to be used to progress. The black goo balls can’t be moved and will remain at a fixed place once used, while green goo balls can change spots. The white goo balls emulate drops of water so they just hang down, red goo balls are balloons that you may use to lift bridges or even your own towers, yellow goo balls stick to different surfaces and finally the skull goo ball can’t be popped by spikes. New goo balls are introduced as you move on into the game and each one represents a new strategy to beat a certain level. Variety is a constant through the game and helps World of Goo stay fresh and unusually good.

The game has 48 challenging and tricky missions divided into five different chapters (four chapters and an epilogue). An interesting bonus mode called “World of Goo Corporation” is included and unlocked early in the game that lets you build a high tower using the previously collected goo balls. You can compete online with other players that have previously uploaded the height of their towers and the number of goo balls used in them.

Visuals are pretty distinctive and its dark atmosphere creates a particular tone and mood when playing. Each level has specific tunes and elements that create a personality to them preventing boredom and lack of variety. As you keep playing, the game rewards you with different cutscenes that look taken from a Tim Burton movie, and its bizarre designs produce a dissimilar style.

World of Good!

Still, not everything is great in World of Goo, there are some levels in which speed is the key to success, but controls can be imprecise when you skillfully try to put goo balls in place. For example, you may click on the wrong goo ball or maybe even worst, a time bug, causing your structure to fall or go back to a previous state. Camera control isn’t very slick as you always have to move around using mouse controls, and it’s extremely difficult to do so when you are racing against time to stop your structures from collapsing. A level editor would have been a perfect addition to World of Goo, to create and share levels with the rest of the community. The lack of more multiplayer options is also disappointing, playing against a friend in real-time could have been an enjoyable experience and maybe some cooperative modes could have also been added.

Overall, nobody should miss this game, not for what it is, but for the experience that represents. Not only is World of Goo addictive, original and fun, but it’s also an independent game that turned out to be one of the most innovative, creative and artistically designed games ever released.