In an age when the Wii is flooded with sub-par games made by massive teams of developers, it seems almost impossible that one of the most imaginative and impressive titles we've played for ages could be created by just two men. And yet here we are, many hours into playing World Of Goo and still loving its unique brand of puzzling goodness, its deliciously dark sense of humour and its horribly addictive nature. Thanks, 2D Boy.
To label it 'truly fascinating' would be an understatement, but there really is no other way to describe it... even if, for all intents and purposes, it's just a game about gooey blobs that do nothing but stick to each other.
At least, that what it seems to be if you just look at the screenshots shown here. Buried underneath all that black rubbery goodness, however, is an incredibly clever puzzle game grounded entirely in the world of physics. But wait! Although the principles behind clearing the levels certainly sound stuffy and dull - centres of gravity, tensile strength, vertical lift and structural integrity all play a part in the gameplay - the reality of how it all comes together is totally different. Trust us on that one.
It's All Goo-d
It works like this. One part of each level contains a collection of Goos - blob-like creatures with eyes - while another features a small exit pipe and it's your job to bring the two together so that as many Goos as possible can escape. Doing that requires you to make structures out of the Goos themselves, which is easy enough in itself - Goos can be 'stretched' from any two anchor points to form a support, which can then be used by another goo and so on. True, it sounds complex but you only need to play one or two levels to get the hang of how it all works.
Of course, it's here that World Of Goo's pure physics come into play. The higher you build, the more you have to bolster your structure to keep it from toppling over. The further across gaps you stretch, the more it'll droop and therefore need support from either above or below. It doesn't help matters that any remaining Goos you have swarm to the most extraneous points of whatever you're building, making it more prone to collapsing until you can lure them away to other areas. Thankfully, you're always given the right tools for the job in the forms of different Goo types (flammable ones, indestructible ones, floating balloon ones, Goos that can be detached and reattached, Goos that hang like dribble and so on) so success is never impossible, just challenging.
Goo-dness Gracious Me
And that, most certainly, is where the enjoyment comes in. Even better, it's thought-provoking enjoyment as you sit and ponder which move to make next, followed by a sudden burst of panic-induced yelling ("No... no, no... no, no, NO! Not that way! The other way! NO!") as your carefully planned creation teeters, bends and finally tumbles to the ground. It's the constantly fluctuating relationship between the two states, combined with that final feeling of pride when you do finally negotiate all the obstacles and reach the pipe that really keeps you hooked.
And that's before you consider refining your technique to truly clear each level. Getting to the pipe with the required amount of Goos is fine, but earning the OCD (Obsessive Completion Distinction) flags is a challenge only worthy of the most dedicated players.
That World Of Goo has finally arrived as a WiiWare game after being originally touted as a retail release is probably a godsend.Left on a shop shelf at full price, we don't doubt it'd sink without trace. As it is though, being available for a little over £10 through the Wii Shop, there really is no excuse for not getting this. As clever as it is stylish, as darkly humourous as it is challenging and as infinitely playable as it is addictive, we simply love World Of Goo to pieces because it's everything that a good game should be. Perhaps if giants like Activision and EA poured as much passion and enthusiasm into their games as 2D Boy has done, the world would be a much better place.