World of Goo Review
Puzzle fans and supporters of Indie projects should look no further than World of Goo for their next purchase
Posted by Alex V (SpectralShock) on Oct 12, 2009 - 8:00pm EST (Oct 12, 2009 20:00)
World of Goo is a puzzle game with a strong emphasis on physics by 2D Boy, an independent game developer consisting of Kyle Gabler and Ron Carmel, both former Electronic Arts employees. The game has received a lot of praise during its initial release, praised to be one of the best independent productions in recent years. I am happy to say that the praise is due where it is deserved – World of Goo is indeed one of the better puzzle games to ever hit the PC, with its interesting art style, clever puzzles yet highly accessible design. The game is a hit with both hardcore and casual gamers, and I am very interested to hear what 2D Boy will come up with next.
Puzzle games are not generally known for having a story; often they are simply a collection of levels that aren’t tied to each other in any way. However in World of Goo, there is definitely a plot to be experienced, which will take you through a variety of levels, Goo ball types and environments. The story is told primarily through some rare stylized cut scenes and wooden signs encountered throughout the game, which were left by a mysterious figure known as the Sign Painter. The signs on each level give subtle hints as to what the objective is, often adding some humour into the mix. Most of the story is revolved around the Goo Corporation and its plans to take over the world with their Goo products. The Goo balls on the other hand are actually little characters that are sleeping throughout the world, and it is your task to awaken and collect them, delivering them to the corporation. But as you progress through the story, you find that Goo balls aren’t exactly willing to serve the Corporation and would rather escape to an unknown location they call Home. The game doesn’t have any characters other than the Sign Painter and the various Goo ball personalities, but that doesn’t stop the developers from telling an entertaining story through the level design and some oddly created cutscenes.
World of Goo’s title very much lives up to the premise – you play in a world where a large company, called the Goo Corporation, is assumed to be running the island. It is your job to continue through the game’s levels and collect as many Goo balls as you can, so that you can one day build a tower and see what’s above the clouds. If you haven’t guessed yet, the game is spent playing with various Goo balls in order to complete the level objectives. Most of the time, your task is to avoid danger in the form of fire, spikes, and other objects as you attempt to stick your Goo balls together to create a path or a bridge and get to the level’s extraction pipe. This pipe will suck up the Goo balls that you haven’t used and their number will contribute to your overall score. Across the various levels, you will discover all kinds of varieties of Goo balls, all with different functions that are specific to completing the level you are on. There are Death balls, fire balls, liquid balls, balloons, and even “beauty” balls. All of these are easily distinguishable and serve a specific purpose in the level, though often it is a part of the challenge to only use what is given to you in a specific way.