First impressions of “World of Goo”

After reading KaiRo’s blog post about the game “World of Goo“, I had to give it a try. Its really addictive. I’ve worked through the entire demo level of the game on the flight from SFO->NRT, and really like it.

The game play is well designed, totally self-evident to play and I found it really compelling and humorous at the same time. Each level has the usual “do this to complete and move to next level”. But each level also had a 2nd, more complex, goal called an OCD goal – yes, that really is an “Obsessive Compulsive Disorder” Goal. Not sure what this says for my personality, but once I found those, it was no longer enough to complete a level and move on, now I had to obsessively complete the level.

The graphics and audio are outstanding – check out all the clips on YouTube for a quick glimpse. The characters are just cute enough to empathize with, and draw you into the game, yet not so cute as to be annoying. I quickly found myself caring when a ball-of-goo came to an untimely demise. Caring – you know, empathizing with a computer-graphic-image of a small ball of oily-looking-goo-with-eyeballs?!?! I liked Lemmings also and Kairo’s comparison is right-on-the-nail there.The choices of background music fit perfectly with each level, and set the tone perfectly for the challenge in the level each time. I found myself wanting to leave the computer running in levels I’d already completed, just for the music.

A lot of effort went into the design of the game, and user interface, to help keep the docs/instructions down to very brief humorous “signposts” within the game play. Looks like it should be a relatively easy game to localize, which is always a big win. Also, its a welcome change from the push-graphics-cards-to-the-limit intense first-person-shooter games, which are fun in a different way, but take large blocks of continuous time. I know the fluid-dynamics calcs are non-trivial, but given how simplistic the graphics and user interface are, I wonder if there is a Android or iPhone version in the works. (hint! hint!)

Overall, two-thumbs up from me. Here’s a more formal review that I thought was done in a interesting all-you-can-discover-over-lunch format.

But the best way is to download and try it. Go on – you know you want to!

tc
John.

ps: hey, Sean did you know there is a version for Wii?! πŸ™‚

6 thoughts on “First impressions of “World of Goo””

  1. FYI, OCD stands for “Obsessive Completion Distinction” πŸ˜‰ I remember getting plenty of them for the Wii version. Some stages you can get even more than what the OCD requirements — super hard but totally rewarding.

  2. Yes, I also looked at it after KaiRo blogged about it. What can I say, it is a masterpiece. In fact, after playing through the demo level I decided to buy it – that’s the first time ever that I bought a computer game.

    As to localizing, it might not be as easy as you think. Did you read sign painter’s messages? I can imagine those being pretty hard to translate without loosing some of their meaning. Also, there is a challenge towards the end of the game called “MOM’s computer” – the (very amusing) dialogue there should be quite a challenge for translators.

  3. Nice to hear there are others who try it and find it as attractive as I. BTW, it actually is available with localizations, I never saw the English version (not even for the Demo) as it automatically detected I had a German system and used German texts instead. I’m pretty sure the English signs are even better than the German ones, though.

    All in all, have fun with your goo! πŸ˜‰

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