4 Hugues Ross Writes a Devlog: Games I Play #4: World of Goo
Hugues Ross

8/19/13

Games I Play #4: World of Goo

"World of Goo is a multiple award winning physics based puzzle / construction game made entirely by two guys. Drag and drop living, squirming, talking, globs of goo to build structures, bridges, cannonballs, zeppelins, and giant tongues. The millions of Goo Balls that live in the beautiful World of Goo are curious to explore - but they don't know that they are in a game, or that they are extremely delicious."
To be perfectly honest, I don't think I can think of a better description for this crazy game. 

Graphics

Nowadays, many indie games either try to aim for 3d, make retro graphics(generally via pixel art), or both. This does seem to be slowly changing, but it's still refreshing to see a game like this one that makes some nice, fresh, 2d graphics without resorting to pixel art(Not that I hate pixel art or anything, in fact it's what I generally go with). The little goo balls all look quite adorable, and their different varieties are all quite graphically distinctive. Overall, the game has the striking and unique aesthetic that can be seen in other games by the devs.

Sound

The music in this game is a real treat. The songs are incredibly diverse, and fit their respective levels perfectly. There are slow, methodical sounding songs for the real headscratchers and racing, frantic tunes for the few fast paced levels. The best part is that you don't have to take my word for it: It's freely available.

Gameplay

The games controls and objectives are pretty simple: drag goo blobs together to form springy structures and reach the pipe, letting the remaining blobs escape. Because of how elastic these blobs tend to be,  things can get pretty tricky. Bridges will bend, towers will topple, and the cute little blobs will crash into spike-laden walls and die. Thankfully, the game often provides you with a few free undos, letting you keep trying without losing your progress. The developers were also kind enough to allow you to skip any level whenever you want, preventing you from ever getting stuck. The game also scatters signs throughout the levels. These provide bits of flavor text mixed with little hints, and help remind you of the story behind all of these puzzles.
One thing that puzzle games have to be careful about is keeping their levels fresh. After all, it can be boring just to solve puzzle after puzzle without any new depth or mechanics ever being introduced. Thankfully, World of Goo certainly doesn't suffer from that problem. As soon as you get the hang of things, it tosses in something new, usually in the form of a new blob with new properties. The only trouble is that sometimes it feels like a bit too much is being thrown at you at once.
Another nice thing to see is that while each level needs a certain number of goo balls, the game rewards you for beating that. Every extra goo ball that you collect is added to a level where you can build to your hearts content. They combine this with a sort of leaderboard system by placing a cloud at the top of whatever structure you build. As you build up, you can see just how high other people from around the world have gone. 

Final Thoughts

I recommend this game to pretty much everyone. It's oodles of fun. In the end, I think it's the skip button that really makes the experience for me. If I ever get frustrated, it's nice to know that I can just push a button to make that go away. Anyway, it's only ten bucks and it's available on quite a number of platforms. Even if puzzle games aren't your thing, I urge you to at least look it up on Youtube or something. It's pretty unique.

You can buy the game here.
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