'World of Goo': Recession-proof videogame fun

So, the sluggish economy has crippled your gaming budget and you no longer can afford those shiny $60 games. Fear not, for World of Goo has arrived.

The puzzle game, which costs $15 for the Nintendo Wii (via the WiiWare store) and $20 for the PC and Mac, has been my obsession this past week. The game’s objective is seemingly simple: You use “goo balls” to build a variety of structures — towers, bridges, rope — in an attempt to steer the balls toward an exit pipe. Yet, as your goo structures grow in size, they become increasingly subject to the laws of physics. What initially starts out as a handsomely stable tower will soon become a vulnerable Leaning Tower of Pisa (get a taste in the video below).

More Goo after the jump.

The game’s 48 levels range from painless tutorials to frustrating but captivating stumpers. One level in particular–”Upper Shaft”–had me baffled for at least an hour. But World of Goo is a charmer throughout. Its mechanics are so intuitive that the whole family can play, and its anti-conglomerate, tongue-in-cheek story is strangely fascinating (just wait until you meet Mom’s Computer). And the painterly visual style is reminiscent of Tim Burton’s most delightful drawings (especially his Stainboy cartoons).

World of Goo represents what may be a turning point for gaming. It was designed by 2D Boy, an indie game studio consisting of two people. Yes, only two. Kyle Gabler is credited with the game’s design, story, art, and music, while Ron Carmel was responsible for its programming. Along with Cloud and Flow, two compelling games made by a small group of USC students, World of Goo proves that you don’t need a colossal budget to create a quality product. You just need an original vision and the artistic talent to make it a reality. And perhaps a tiny bit of goo.

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Comments (8 total) Add your comment
  • TsuKata

    Yes! Thank you for highlighting this. World of Goo has brought me Wii gaming joy for a few weeks now.

  • Kat

    My brother just bought me this game for Wii and I think it’s great! Granted I’m now stuck and can’t figure out how to finish these two levels… but it’s such a cool game.

  • Jen80

    Wow…this looks SO similar to a game called Crayon Physics that I am…well, I’m astounded. I want to buy the game just to see how similar they actually are, b/c…wow. You can check out a demo of Crayon Physics via this article: http://www.slate.com/id/2186848/pagenum/all/#page_start
    Now, tell me those aren’t awfully similar!

  • ben

    Jen80, it’s not entirely similar, sure they are both physics puzzles but the similarities really stop there. You also don’t have to buy it to find out, theres a free demo of the first chapter at http://media.beanstalkgames.com.s3.amazonaws.com/demos/wog/WorldOfGooDemo_Setup5.exe

  • Tbone

    I love the Goo…best game I’ve played in quite a while. HEre’s a demo that lets you play the entire first chapter!
    http://media.beanstalkgames.com/demos/wog/WorldOfGooDemo_Setup5.exe

  • Randym43085

    Love this game!
    Lots of fun challenges. BTW if you get stuck on early levels check youtube. There are lots of videos on how to beat a level.
    Get the free demo at beanstalkgames.com to try it yourself.
    Viva la Goo!

  • Colonelchi

    I was just getting ready to pack up my Wii and focus completely on my PS3 until this game. It totally saved my relationship with my Wii. I just hope there’s a sequel down the road.

  • Alyssa

    i would LOVE for the twilight cast(robert,taylor,Kinsten)to come to Livingston New Jersey i am the biggest fan. I know every thing. So i would love for the Twilight cat to come FYI: THERE IS 268 DAYS 15 HOURS 27 MINS AND 53 SECONDS till breaking dawn coms out SO PLZZZ COME thank you for taking your timeto read this. lova ya Alyssa

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