World of Goo

By Shamus Posted Wednesday Oct 22, 2008

Filed under: Game Reviews 39 comments

People have been sending me links to this game for a while now, and I finally got around to downloading the demo. Half an hour later I’d bought the game. I’ll be buying it again – a second time – for WiiWare tomorrow. I do so without the slightest hesitation. I am, in fact, happy to do so.

I’ll have a more complete review of the game later, but allow me this quick bullet-list of cogent informational tidbits:

  • No DRM. Region-free. Just download and play wherever.
  • Only $20. An irresistible price-point.
  • Fun and endlessly innovative.
  • Indie game made by a two-man design team, the likes of which has not been seen since the classic “A Guy and His Buddy” design teams of the 80’s.
  • Will run on “any computer less than 5 years old”.
  • This is the first thing I’ve encountered in two weeks which has been capable of prying me away from City of Heroes.

Please, I invite you to wreck your productivity by getting the demo.


From The Archives:

39 thoughts on “World of Goo

  1. Francis says:

    That looks like a cool game!
    Please tell us if it’s better on the PC or on the Wii. :)

  2. Kel'Thuzad says:

    Sounds fun. I’ll consider trying it.

  3. TainInfernus says:

    I, too, was instantly snared by this game. I played the demo for a day, thought for one minute, then bought it. For such a simplistic game, $20 seemed a bit much but it is extremely fun and, because of the build-a-tower competition against people around the world, the replay value is nearly infinite. A very few levels pissed me off to the point where I just skipped them entirely (the game allows you to skip about 4 levels per chapter). I’ve currently beaten the game with just one level left unbeaten.
    This game is really great and my engineering friend can’t stop building stuff. Once you grasp the mechanics of how weight and support beams work, this game can lead to some really innovative buildings.
    The game is actually long enough to warrant the twenty dollars with very interesting types of gooballs, all of which act differently. I endorse this game :D

  4. Jeremiah says:

    Watching that video I feel like I need to be high.

  5. Snook says:

    I am afraid… I need my productivity, and other things keep destroying pieces of it. I can’t risk losing all of it!

  6. Well, first it was WoW that sucked you in and you had to go cold turkey on in order to do something else, then City of Heroes looked about to do the same thing to you, now you are deep in the goo.

    Nice to have some winners in that group. Wonder if DIII will be what it takes to get you unstuck from Goo.

  7. Fireyhot says:

    Every time I try to run the demo it says “Out of Range”. Ah well.

  8. henebry says:

    I like the region free concept, which I guess is a half-joking reference to the DVD region system. I gather that in this context it means that once you buy the game, say, for your pc, you can download and run the mac and linux versions for free when they become available?

  9. Conlaen says:

    Played the demo. Will definately buy it on WiiWare. Not going to also get it for PC though. Had to choose, and chose the Wii. I spend enough time behind the PC as it is.

  10. Freaky Dug says:

    Hey, I just finished it. About 2 minutes ago. In the toilet. On my tiny, underpowered laptop. Which is pretty impressive for such a fun game.

    It is very short for $20(£12 to me), though.

    I recommend playing it with a touch screen or graphics tablet. I found both to be better than a mouse, although the mouse controls work perfectly well.

  11. Hirvox says:

    I got my copy from Steam. The gameplay reminded me of Lemmings in a good way. There’s no rush and you have a limited number of undos at your disposal, so minor mistakes do not force you to restart. And as Portal has shown, the combination of black humor and puzzles is quite viable.

    My only gripe is that the game doesn’t allow you to change the resolution, but that’s partially intentional. The game limits scrolling on some levels for pacing purposes. For example, a sign with a hint is kept offscreen until you’re close enough to the sign for the hint to become relevant.

  12. Vegedus says:

    Indie gaming, you do it again.

  13. Freaky Dug says:

    Hirvox: You can change the resolution by fiddling with config.txt in the game’s program files, but things look a bit dodgy at any resolution but 600×800. I played it windowed at 1024 x 768 on my desktop and it worked pretty well.

  14. Nathon says:

    Hooray, goo! I have the WiiWare version ($15) and the main difference between it and the PC one is that it’s multiplayer. Speed comes much more easily when you have someone else helping. Though sometimes friends hinder instead.

  15. onosson says:

    There’s another indie game I came across recently that you might like to check out: Lux Delux. It’s a total Risk clone, but what makes it special is the maps. The maps! Maps and maps and maps and maps… user-created, developer-created, randomized… Oh, there are downloadable extra AIs to play against too. $25 U.S. to buy, no DRM etc.

    They are marketing this smartly, too. They released a free version that only has the standard Risk map for the iPhone/iPod Touch, which I downloaded. It played so nicely on my iPod, that I tried out the PC Demo, and the only demo restrictions are: limited to just a few maps, you can only play 30 games. I bought it after less than half that many games.

  16. Alleyoop says:

    I did exactly the same as Shamus, only without the demo. Bought it for Wii, played for a week, then bought it for PC. I did experience a freeze/crash last night on my PC (fatal error something, Level 2 Drool), but I only lost what I’d done on that particular level after alt-tabbing out of the freeze and restarting. Hasn’t happened again.

    [On their support board, in reference to fatal errors, someone suggested rightclicking on the game .exe for Properties, Compatiblity>Windows NT4, which I did; so far so good]

    I prefer the mouse controls to the waggly Wii remote, but our Wii’s hooked up to our big hi-def TV; one of these days I’ll get someone over to jump in with another remote and we can have at building together.

    Great design, music, ‘characterization’ (gooballs are cute but not annoyingly so). Absorbing and often aggravating play…in the ‘I will beat this!’ kind of way, and I have a low frustration tolerance with games. For me, replay involves beating my lame initial attempts.

    Best game money I’ve spent all year. :)

  17. Strangeite says:

    Thank you onosson!!! I play Lux on my computer and had no idea there was a version for my iPhone. I am getting it right now.

  18. Alastair says:

    In the same genre of building things that do stuff there is this game:

  19. MadTinkerer says:

    On Metacritic, World of Goo is currently rated the second best Wii game ever, beating Super Mario Galaxy and Smash Brothers Brawl.

    On the PC list, it’s gotten a similarly high score.

    The “big boys” may have been able to ignore games like Bookworm Adventures, Portal, and Braid at first, but WoG should get their attention. (Well, okay, Portal is on Steam so technically it has mild DRM in the sense that you need Steam, and Braid is only available for XB360 so far.) The journey back towards originality from the valley of mediocrity is well under way. Those who understand how games should be, regardless of their budget, will succeed over those who have a huge budget but are clueless.

  20. Alleyoop says:

    Here’s an interview with the 2DBoys – I wish them all the luck in the world:

  21. Carra says:

    Rock Paper Shotgun got me buying it when it came out on steam (and apparently it’s now not avaiable through steam for Europeans anymore, pfff).

    Best game I’ve played this year.

  22. Sam says:

    I’m not sure what the hell was going on, but I’m gonna try it, see if it really works on any computer less than five years old. My dumpy Compaq will be the true test.

  23. Spam Vader says:

    If you’re buying World of Goo, might I also suggest you buy Lost Winds, for it’s wonderful and original platforming glory?

  24. Jim says:

    Yes, I’ll add to the chorus of “thumbs up”-ers. I played the demo when it first released, pre-ordered it after about 10 minutes.

    I’m also about to purchase a second copy. My plan is to give my non-Steam copy to my parents and then re-buy it on Steam for myself.

  25. RPharazon says:

    I quite liked World of Goo. I went from demo to full game in the space of a single night, and finished it a few days ago.

    I loved it, but my only complaint(s?) is(are?) that it was way too short for its own good. Of course, making innovative things like this takes a lot of time, so I guess I can’t complain.

    My other complaint is that the control scheme and the structural properties of the game were just too weird to complete some challenges without exploding in anger. I think it’s that my innate physics expectations can’t cope with the weird size/density properties of goos.
    Except for the matchstick goos. I loved those little guys because they actually handled properly.

    A good thumbs-up added to the many in this comments section.

  26. Galen says:

    wow shamus. They need to give the makers medals and then put them away quietly. Though not necessarily in any specific order. Wow, that demo made my day. If the wii version is multi and I ever get my wii online correctly I’ll be sure to buy it. thanks for sharing Shamus!

  27. Viktor says:

    Annoyed. Played demo, loved it. Tried to buy and was rejected due to issues with their processing of my card. It’s off to the torrents for a game I wanted to pay money for. :mad:

  28. MikhailBorg says:

    Will run on “any computer less than 5 years old”.

    … that isn’t a Macintosh.

    Surprised? Not really. But c’mon, Apples aren’t all that rare anymore, guys. Especially in the last five years.

  29. Viktor says:

    Mac version is going into Beta soon, as is Linux.

    And I /was/ able to give them my money! :yay:

  30. Kevin says:

    It looks wonderful enough for me to stay completely away from it!


  31. John says:

    Alastair beat me to the punch, but Strange Contraptions looks very similar, and it’s a browser-based game, so Macs and PCs can run it. You can play the first 10 (i think) levels for free. And you can share your solutions with other people. Definitely another fun time sink!

  32. LafinJack says:

    I haven’t played Goo yet, but you should pick up Armadillo Run. Stupendous physics game, reminded me a lot of TIM from ages past.

  33. Jeff says:

    I just got this, and it totally killed my productivity back home. Awesome game.

    The OCD flags are killing me too, I must have spent an hour on Ivy Tower alone.

  34. Dev Null says:

    Chalk another one up on the list of awesome games found via this site; Thanks!

  35. D0minat0rGam0r says:

    PC version is definitely the way to go if you ask me. Awesome game! for demo and chance to buy direct!

  36. Katherine says:

    Starting July 25th, Brighter Minds Media will be holding a contest to find the child with the most innovative structure or ‘creation!’ made out of Goo! To participate, you must email the picture of your creation to Katherine at [email protected] com and she will post it on our facebook contest page. The picture with the most comments will win The World of Goo casual game and several other items from the Brighter Minds Media web site. Good luck everyone and we look forward to your submissions!

  37. Amazing submit! This might conserve us a lot of difficulties together with discomfort!

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