Review: World of Goo

World of Goo...is a strange game at first glance. At first glance it's a cute little indie puzzler about getting a certain amount of living goo balls into a pipe. What's the point of getting these little goo balls into these pipes, you might ask. Well, play the game and you'll find out that World of Goo is an interesting parable that functions well as a game, but is more so a physics simulation.

Created by the two-man team at 2D Boy and released on October 13, 2008 for the PC and six other platforms, World of Goo is physics-based puzzler taking place on a planet populated by goo balls of different types which are collected by a corporation to make different products and are introduced throughout the game. The point-and-drag controls on PC are superb, being smooth without being floaty or sticky to the point that the game is unplayable.The physics engine works fine, although the game has some uneven difficulty problems that could be caused by the engine, especially once the game introduces goo balls that function as balloons. I feel that these balls were given too little weight, leading to them floating just a bit higher...and right into spikes, starting a chain reaction that makes you start the level again. This scenario happens quite often in a game that at times, requires split-second decisions, and just make the fairly bland and unvaried gameplay all the more frustrating. Yes, the different goo ball type shake things up a little bit, but it's just not enough. The frustrating gameplay and uneven difficulty make the game more of "I have to get from point A to point B" than wanting to continue on to see how the story plays out...

...which is somewhat of a shame because the writing in this game is extremely well done.This "everything in moderation" story, explained through pre-rendered cutscenes and the signs left behind by the ever-present, self-aware character of the "Sign Painter", takes a really sad turn during the final chapter, and while I won't spoil anything, you will never look at email the same way again. The goo balls are written as curious, naive,and adventurous, like toddlers released into the world. The goo balls don't speak, but the writers wrote the script in such a way that, they don't have to.

It's also a shame that the gameplay is at times frustrating because the soundtrack in this game is amazing, and every music piece on the soundtrack is played throughout the game. The music is, in my opinion, the best part about this game. Yes, some of the songs are just the same song at different speeds, but the music constantly fits the levels so well that this relatively minor nitpick is extremely easy to overlook. What makes even more amazing that all the most was made Stomp-style, using differents household objects as instruments. The music is some of the best game music ever, even besting some Hollywood scores that used a full orchestra.

The cartoon-like visuals are great, drawn in the style of Dr. Seuss books, and adding to the child-like nature of the goo balls. There are no major graphical glitches,and the game runs well even on low-end PC hardware.

The point at which this game falters the most is the replayability. There is very little to no replayability beyond the main story in this game. The World of Goo Corporation minigame, in which extra goo balls are used to construct a tower, is utterly useless, and an excuse to shoehorn in online capability.

In conclusion, World of Goo is indeed worth your time. It is a stellar debut for 2D Boy, and I am excited to see what they do in the future. However, the game is not without flaws, namely, some tweaks with the physics engine , the lack of replayability and the addition of an online mode in a game that doesn't need it.

Get it when it's on sale.

Here's the original post on my blog: http://theonehandednoob.blogspot.com/

Very nice review and I sense that you are relatively new to the site. What I liked about this review is that it's short, to-the-point and yet very informative. You tell a bit about the history, explain what you liked and didn't like, gave an idea about what the game is about and then summarized it fairly well. Some minor editorial and grammatical mistakes aside, I would recommend ending with "if you like such and such, then you may like this game", though the "get it when it's on sale" is a pretty good indication of quality too.

Keep up the good work and know that your advice shall be followed by at least one reader ;)

Good review. Personally I felt this game was best when it kept to simple objectives. For example building bridges and similar structures.

a very nice and neat review. as others said before its really good in in its short format and you summarize all of it pretty good.

yet i have to disagree while some levels are devilishly hard they dont harm the game as mush as you emphasized on it IMO.

sagitel:
a very nice and neat review. as others said before its really good in in its short format and you summarize all of it pretty good.

yet i have to disagree while some levels are devilishly hard they dont harm the game as mush as you emphasized on it IMO.

I play games with one hand. So, yeah. Bit harder for me.

IGetNoSlack:

sagitel:
a very nice and neat review. as others said before its really good in in its short format and you summarize all of it pretty good.

yet i have to disagree while some levels are devilishly hard they dont harm the game as mush as you emphasized on it IMO.

I play games with one hand. So, yeah. Bit harder for me.

What do you mean by that? Okay, I know what, but how?

Good review. I personally liked Portal's brevity, but Portal 2 is just as good even though it dragged on at times for me.

thesilentman:

IGetNoSlack:

sagitel:
a very nice and neat review. as others said before its really good in in its short format and you summarize all of it pretty good.

yet i have to disagree while some levels are devilishly hard they dont harm the game as mush as you emphasized on it IMO.

I play games with one hand. So, yeah. Bit harder for me.

What do you mean by that? Okay, I know what, but how?

Good review. I personally liked Portal's brevity, but Portal 2 is just as good even though it dragged on at times for me.

I have cerebral palsy.

And epilepsy. No lie. Had them both since birth.

 

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