Okay, so I’m an easily distracted person. I’ve got a new thing to read every week, new game to play every month…you get the picture. But the one game that I have stuck at for unusually long (with the exception of Sims 2, which is not a game but a serious addiction) is World of Goo. World of Goo, which has won several awards such as the Design Innovation Award and the Seumas Mcnally Prize (whatever that is), is a puzzle game, set in an abstract world inhabited by cute little, uh, goo-balls. Inherently, it’s a bridge-and-tower-building game. And Jesus, it is addictive.
World of Goo starts with the simplest of tasks–building a small tower that won’t fall over with enough goo balls left over–but it gets much more complex. Although there are your basic bridge and tower tasks, the gameplay itself is a HELL of a lot more difficult than it sounds. You have to move objects, lift structures, and a shitload of other stuff. And all for the good of gookind.
The story in World of Goo is told really well; The cutscenes are short and without speech, but very telling indeed. Instructions are given to you through signs. It kind of reminds me of Toejam and Earl games, where you click on the signs. Your main ally is, of course, the Sign Painter, but they’re also your main enemy…actually, this is quite vague. It is made very clear to you what you are up against in this game (I won’t give it away), but at the same time your actions against it materialise in a very much counter-productive way because the more you try to escape, the more Goo-balls you must leave behind. I actually very much like this, as the story doesn’t rule the game, but nor is it surplus to requirement. One problem I do have, however, is that very, very little guidance is given on how to actually complete the puzzles. They’re so widespread, and the biggest hint you get is in the level name. Oftentimes you look at a level and simply think ‘whut?’.
The graphics in this game are very light-hearted and colourful. I’d say most reminiscent of games and cartoons for young children, but the gameplay is far more advanced than a game solely aimed at under-10s. This is really nice, because you feel quite relaxed and young playing the game, like there’s no pressure on you to complete it or even pass the level. This has to be one of my favourite things about this game, as a teenage girl. Yeah, I know, no girls on the internet. But anyway, it really does work well for the game, further enhancing the lovely laid-back theme of the game.
All in all, if you’re into puzzle games, I’d say definitely buy World of Goo. It’s a great game for when you just need to relax, and it’s a really good price – $20, or £12 if you’re British. Games half as good as this sell for twice as much. However, if you like fast-paced shooters, this game will probably bore you as it requires serious patience.