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Moggystyle review: World of Goo


Before it’s release World of Goo wasn’t even on my radar. For the most part I keep myself informed of happenings in the video game industry and I know when all the new releases are scheduled to come out. Off the top of my head, I could probably tell you the release dates for most of the AAA title coming out this fall. Yet some how this indie title, available on the PC or through Wii Ware, never caught my attention. I almost missed it and that would have been a shame.

The World of Goo is the brain child of a few guys at 2D Boy, an independent game developer, and in the first hour of play it oozed charm and charisma on top of an additively simple yet satisfying gameplay mechanic. World of Goo is best described as a puzzle game. The format is standard; each level has a goal that must be completed to move on. The goal usually centers around using your goo balls to reach a pipe so the other goo balls can escape through it.

Using the goo provided effectively is where the challenge comes in. The game eased me in and within a few minutes I felt completely comfortable with the game’s simple gameplay mechanics. In a level you have a certain number of Goo balls which can be connected to other goo balls to assemble structures. Take a look at this visual as it will help you understand my explanation.

In the picture the goo ball on the top with the white lines connecting to it is the one the player is holding. All you do is click on a goo ball and move it near the existing structure. The white lines show where the connections will form once you unclick the goo ball. So all you do is move it into place, let go, and it connects.

Strategy becomes imperative to overcome the games physics based puzzles. The goo ball towers and chains the player builds aren’t completely solid. The connections have a rubbery feel to them. They aren’t flimsy, but as you build your structure up or sideways it will start to bend and sway from the pressure. Push it too far and it will break or tip over. Also, unused goo balls crawl around on the structure. Their position and weight as they crawl around the structure can cause problems when they change the structures center of gravity.

The levels center around using the goo balls to create a structure that allows the unused goo balls crawling around on the structure to reach an exit pipe. There is a goal of a certain number or type of goo balls you have to get to the pipe to pass the level. This means you often have to be efficient with how you use the goo balls. Goo balls that are part of the structure can’t exit through the pipe. You will want to reinforce your structure in every way you can, but to do so will leave you with not enough goo balls left to get to the exit pipe. It creates an brilliant tension of dangling on the edge of a cliff while trying to get your goo to the edge without falling over.

There are also puzzle elements beside just dealing with the perils of gravity. Often the levels will have obstacles and traps that you must work around. There are different types of goo balls with different properties.

The presentation in World of Goo is fantastic. The graphics aren’t cutting edge and high-resolution, but they always managed to appear polished and stylish. Within minutes of firing up the game I was charmed and knew the creators of this game had a vision that stayed consistent throughout the entire development process.

This game is brilliant. Each new level offered new challenges while building on what I had experienced previously. It never felt repetitive. Also the levels are fairly short. Most can probably be completed in 5-10 minutes. This is a game I could see myself killing a half hour with when I have a little but of spare time, but more likely I will put aside large chunks of time to spend with it. Each level also has a challenge, on top of the regular goals of the level. I can see this adding a lot of replay value. The challenge is usually to beat the level in a certain number of turns or with-in a certain time. I haven’t tried them yet, but I’m the type who would find them maddeningly addictive. In the end, it scares me that I could have missed this game. It’s too good to miss.

9 out of 10

you can also read the review here

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About Moggone of us since 10:13 AM on 02.27.2008

29 yrs old
location: Midwest

currently playing:
Warhammer online
Peggle Nights
Dragon Quest IV
Rock Band 2
Little Big Planet
Fallout 3
Gears of War 2
Dead space

Favorite Games:
tecmo super bowl
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Civilization series
punch out
Star Wars KOTOR
Mario golf
Mario Kart (64)
Tony Hawk 3

TV Shows you should watch:
The Wire (best tv show of all-time)
Battlestar Galactica
Freaks and Geeks

Favorite Movies
Star Wars Trilogy
Pulp Fiction
Children of Men
Roger Dodger
Terminator 2
Quiz Show
In America

We live in an age were no one understand they are boring. the internet has allowed everyone to voice their opinion and present themselves to the world. While this has many benefits, it also has just as many negatives. the largest being that no one seems to understand they aren't very interesting. I understand that so i'm not going to pretend i am remarkable because I can afford $40 for broadband.

We are here because we share a common interest, video games, so I am going to focus on that. how i got here in terms of video games.

My first video game memories are playing my parent's Atari 2600 Man, I loved that thing. I don't know if it was just because it was so cutting edge or because I was just a stupid little kid, but I would play any game on that thing for hours. I read lists of the all-time worst games and many include some of the favorites from my youth. I would play E.T. non-stop. I didn't mind that it took me 20 tries to get out of a pit because that was all I had and all there was. I would fly around as superman (while wearing my superman underoos) across nonsense backgrounds and enjoy every minute.

In elementary school I finally upgraded to the NES. I wasn't an early adapter. My NES came with the power pad. But that was the beginning of the end. From that point on I was hooked. My dad would often take me to the video store to rent NES games. that was before the days of blockbuster, so we would go to the local mom and pop rental place. That was also the day before the internet, so it was much harder to get info about games to know which were worth playing. I would hunt through the isle reading the back of every box and looking at the pictures. As a kid your sense of time is skewed but it had to take me at least a half hour to choose a game. I would narrow it down to a few and feel the pressure as my dad told me to hurry up. I still didn't have the discriminating taste I would later develop so I was usually happy with my selection.

About the time of the super nintendo, I started to develop a video game palette, which was great timing because that's when games really came into their prime. Games evolved in terms of story telling, gameplay mechanics, and even multiplayer. As a youth I was also an avid reader and this is the time that games started to match the ability of a good book to whisk a curious youth into strange new worlds. FFIII can hold its own against any classic children's book.

Around this time blockbuster and hollywood video stores began to open. My father worked for the fire department which qualified him for a discount at the local hollywood video. Anytime we would rent a movie or game we would get another rental free. no limits. everytime. my god that was amazing. it doubled the amount of games I could rent! I feel like I played everything back then. this was also the time when home systems began to match some of the arcade games. Me and my friends would rent bomberman for the snes, not to play bomberman, but to get the 4 player adapter that came with it. then we would use that and play 4 player NBA jam until the sun came up.

At this time games didn't have street dates. I would call the video store to find out when they expected a new game and then call them every 2 hours from the day the they estimated the game to come in until it actually arrived. thank god caller ID wasn't prevalent then because the guy at the game store wouldn't have answered my calls the week Street fighter II came out.

By the time the N64 was released I was in high school and had a part time job at a nationwide retailer. As I mentioned above, games didn't have street dates and neither did consoles. I was working the day the first shipments of N64's came in. I called my parents begging them to front me the money (hey, i got a 10% discount). That was some advanced stuff. And the controller was so crazy for the time.

My nintendo 64 took me into college. I don't remember much about that for some reason, but i'm pretty sure If i spent the amount of time studying as I did playing mario kart, goldeneye, mario golf, and fifi soccer, I'd have about 4 graduate degrees.

After a long time in school (I did get one graduate degree) I'm now an employed and have disposable income. As a result I have an 360, ps3, Wii, ps2, and DS. I really think we are in a golden age of gaming and games have taken similar evolutionary step as they did between the NES and SNES.

I hope to become an active member of the destructoid community. I've been reading the blogs for months and hope i can live up to the standard you all have set. If you read all this I appreciate it. If not, I'll understand. It's probably not as interesting as I think it is.
Xbox LIVE:IUMogg
Mii code:**********************


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