There are some video games that awe me with their artistry. There are other video games that amaze me with their simplicity, coming up with a new type of video game experience that I’ve never played before. World of Goo is both.
The concept is simple. Drag and drop balls of goo. That’s all you have to do. The goo, depending where you place it, can construct towers, bridges, fences and ladders. The goal is to create a structure that will transport other, free-moving goo, to a mysterious pipe somewhere in the level. Get enough goo to that pipe, and you’ve completed that level’s puzzle.
The art design is simultaneously beautiful and dirty, in a Tim Burton sort of way. The music is well orchestrated, perfectly complimenting the art style, and the sound effects are also appropriate, with the goo happily proclaiming “Woohoo!” when they get added to the tower, and angrily grumbling when they are placed somewhere that can’t connect to the rest of the goo.
World of Goo is downloadable on the Wii from Wiiware. It costs 1500 Wii points, and was well worth it. It’s games like this that really show the strength of the Wii controller, being able to intuitively act like a mouse pointer. This game would be much more frustrating if you were trying to place the goo with a joystick or a D-pad.
This game is also available, at the time of this review, for PC, Mac, and Linux. The free demo of this game can be found at 2Dboy.com. Even if you have no intention of buying this game, I highly recommend downloading the demo and trying the game yourself.