World of Goo (PC) Review

The gents over at 2DBoy’s huge office complex were kind enough to give me a few goo balls to sample, and they taste delectable! I love you, 2D Boy!

AUDIO

The audio is simply superb. In all the action, it’s easy to not notice the squeals of delight, or the screams of terror that the blobs of goo spew forth from their mouths. I’m beginning to suspect that all this time, 2Dboy has held an orchestra hostage and only lets them eat if they get good reviews. I’m straying off course--the point is, the audio is amazing! Each stage sets exactly the right mood, and has exactly the right effect for getting you into the structural engineer's zone. A slew of amazing instruments playing at once will, I guarantee you, make your blobs build faster AND your foot tap faster, or your copy is freeee! Ahem, er, right. One level you are listening to soothing American-Army style trumpets reminiscing in the olden days of the bridge builder, the next level is a frantic cacophony of strings, beats, and noises urging you to accomplish the impossible task of building your way out of a creature with balloons for eyes! It's clear that the music that goes along with World of Goo is every bit as twisted as the levels it goes with.  It’s so amazing that you’ll want to play a level just ONE more time, JUST to hear “that one song”! These amazing sound effects and music give it a nice 10 out of 10.

VISUAL

Words cannot express the amount of “OMG“ you will face when first launching up World of Goo. The first thing you notice when you fire up the game is the "Blob" cursor replacing your standard mouse. More excellent effects greet you as the startup screen progresses. Soon an
entire animated world pops up showing distinctly the different sections of "GooLand" with characteristic and satisfying animations for each one.  Click into a section and Dynamic, fluid animations and nice scrolling parallax backgrounds await at the level select menu.  And we haven't even gotten into the game yet! When you enter a level, you are first greeted with a scrolling view, maybe a cutscene. You can then click on the bouncing sign, which gives you information on the level. Soon, you’re clicking around and dragging the cute, animated little blobs that are your heroes. They look as good as they taste, too! After playing for a while, one might begin to feel a little attached to the little guys--which is a first in gaming history for me!

Surreal landscapes, warped creatures, and squishy globules mesh together into a
very pleasing dynamic work of imagination.  I can truly say that World of Goo has innovative
graphics and unique and beautiful art style all its own, surpassing every game I have ever played. This gives it a 9 out of ten for the visual.

GAMEPLAY

World of Goo Is surprisingly lukewarm, if you can say that. It’s just right--not too hard, not too easy. That’s not to say that it won’t get hard--because believe me, there will be some “So THAT’S what the answer is! DUH!” moments. It’s just that the insanely hard and incredibly easy levels all balance out, so as not to ever make you want to quit (until your legs are as weak as goo from sitting down so long). And there’s another thing--if you really, really, really hate a level you can just skip it--at the cost of one skip. But you won’t want to skip it, merely because of the ingeniousness of the levels! In one level, you’re actually climbing out of a frog’s belly, carefully rearranging your vines so as not to fall, but so that you can climb up the creature’s neck! The variety of goo balls is astounding--there’s your standard goo balls, then you have your vine balls which can be rearranged to fit your needs, and they also seem to have extra stickyness. Of course, then you got your water goo balls--only one link to any other goo ball, and they just fall down. If you have water gooballs, then you absolutely have to have balloon gooballs, right?! Of course! Float away all majestically, then suddenly drop to fall into a certain hole. I could go on and on about the types of goo balls, but I will not. For any good structure building system, you need physics, right? Of course you do, and 2DBoy certainly put a lot of work into his goo physics system! Towers crumple onto themselves and fall, just like in real life. It also adds a lot of challenge to the game--if a tower is tipping, what do you do? Build supports? Lose weight? All these options are available, but you have to find them. Unfortunately, there is one bad aspect in World of Goo--though the levels are balanced out, some can be insanely hard. One can spend hours trying to figure out a solution to a level that seems to be just impossible! This drawback scores it a nine out of ten--not bad, for two men in a basement.

STORY

This is where World of Goo starts to tip on its tower of delectable snacks. The story in World of Goo is really…non-existent. It’s easy to understand that the goo balls are on an adventure, but you don’t really know what’s going on in the story! It’s just a bunch of levels with a few cut scenes. So while a story may be partially there, it’s really not noticeable. This, unfortunately, tips the tower and gives World of Goo a four out of ten.

REPLAY

But wait! The tower is righting itself! The goo balls rejoice! Huzzah, there are more good parts to be mentioned! Long live the tower of goo! Ahem--sorry, I digress. World of Goo has replay ability, oh yes indeedy! Players have to rescue goo balls by touching a tower to a pipe, whilst the goo balls travel towards the pipe. Every goo ball collected over the minimum goes towards the “World of Goo Factory”,  which is an open field when you first discover it. Players have to build towers with these extra balls,  with each cloud in the background representing another player’s height. One can go back into levels and try to rescue more goo balls, and then add to their towers. And considering the amount of levels, players will reach the 300 cap pretty quickly if they really try. You are basically trying to build the most structurally sound tower, whilst making it a tall tower. This is probably the place that you will spend the most time in, since there is no official level editor. But take heart! Fans have already made a level editor! Just check on 2dboy’s forums, and you will find a level editor. Now you can finally make that level with a pipe directly above a tower, and easily reach 300 goo balls. I look forward to the future of World of Goo corp., and give the replay score a nice 7 out of 10.

OVERALL

World of Goo is one of the most fun games you will ever play. There’s a free demo available on Steam, and it’s worth the minute or so it takes to download. 2D Boy has been generous, and included the full first chapter in the demo! Players should immediately buy the game if they have money on hand. That is, unless they don’t like the taste of goo in the morning. But honestly, who doesn’t? The goo balls taste amazing, and if I were a food reviewer, I’d give the goo balls a nine out of ten.

"World of Goo (PC)" is on sale October 13, 2008 and is rated E. Action, Family, Puzzle, Strategy.

Nov
11
2008
Josh Coffey

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