World of Goo is a nice game. It’s a cute game. It’s also kinda weird and has hints of a dystopian future controlled by ruthless corporations. But it’s good. I also had no idea where I got it from until I checked my Humble Bundle account. World of Goo, alongside a bunch of other small games like Fieldrunners and Osmos, was one of my very few Humble Bundle purchases, mostly because the games were DRM free. In fact, I actually used to have World of Goo installed on my previous smart phone. I have it on Steam, I have it as an app and I have a DRM-free version. It’s almost as prolific as TESV: Skyrim or the number of copies of Worms Armageddon I own.
The game is incredibly simple. Using little blobs of goo, you need to construct a, uh, structure, in order to reach the big sucking hose to suck up as many goo as possible. Goos will try to connect to other gooey blobs, and structures all (sort of) obey physics, so you’ve got to be careful to not break things or knock your tower down. Obstacle courses are littered around many maps, and you have to avoid killing your goo buddies. To complete a level, you need to get the target number of goos to the extraction sucky thing generally located at the top of the level. It’s simple click and drag sort of stuff, all you need is your mouse or your fingers.
The missions start off pretty simple, and there’s a lot of leeway as to what you can do. Of course you’re going to want to make triangular structures because of strength, but you can also just make goos drop around, hang off other goo and stuff like that. There are different colours of goo, but not all of them can be picked up straight away. Quite often, there are sleeping goo blobs that you need to wake up by bringing normal goos close to them. Once they’re awake, you can drag them anywhere, but you need to drag them through open space – if there’s a wall in the middle of the level, you need to drag around it or you’ll drop your goo.
If you get stuck, the Sign Painter on every level may try and give you some tips. There are also little white time bugs which will undo your last move, but these are often very limited.
There’s also the World of Goo Corporation. When you hit your target goal in any level, any extra goo you get is sent here, so you can build whatever you want. This gives you incentive to replay old levels and try and save as many goo blobs as possible. If you press the button to activate ‘online mode’, you’re supposed to be able to see other players building towers in the background, but I’ve never seen such a thing. A panel is there to send messages, but if there are no other players, there’s not much use. The actual goal of the World of Goo Corporation area is to build as tall a structure as possible, but why do that when you can build anything?
So you’ve got the PC version and the app version. The game is a billion times easier with a mouse. You gain a lot more with a bit of precision. Even with my little fingers, picking up the goo you want and positioning it where you want it can be awkward. This isn’t too bad on a tablet, but on a phone, it’s awkward as fuck.
Last but not least, the soundtrack is really good. Fits the game really well.
Do I recommend World of Goo? Totally if you like puzzle games and a cutesy art style. You can take the game pretty slow and play at your leisure. It gets harder later on, but it’s all pretty doable. I’d recommend the PC version over the mobile version though, just so you have better control of the game. Because it’s sad accidentally killing your goo buddies by accidentally dropping them.
World of Goo is available on Steam for €9.99 or €8.89 on GoG, DRM free. The version that was on Humble Bundle is no longer available, but you can get it on the Play Store for €3.99 if you want World of Goo for mobile.