Developer: 2D Boy
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 3G
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World of Goo was the original indie game - maybe not the first, but most certainly the biggest in terms of breakout success. Released in 2008, it's been on the desktop, on home consoles, and now, finally, the iOS mobile platform. Finally, in our opinion, as the touch interface of the iPad just makes sense for World of Goo.
World of Goo does so many things we haven't seen before. There's the great, over the top story that still manages to not get in your face. World of Goo is also an entertaining, thoughtful, inventive, and varied puzzler. The fact that it looks and sounds so amazing just rounds out the brilliance of the whole package. I first played World of Goo on the Wii. It was the first and only game I've bought via WiiWare. The Wii controller seemed, at the time, a great interface for the game. But now that it's on a touch interface, the other versions just don't seem to work right anymore.
Let's back up a little and talk about the game itself. World of Goo is a physics puzzler set in an odd world where a mysterious force controls the planet. Each level in World of Goo has players build structures and solve puzzles by connecting different types of goo balls in various fashions. Different goo balls react differently -- some float, some are bouncy, and some are flammable. The goal in most levels is to get a certain required number of goo balls to a vaccuum tube where they can escape.
Though there's no tutorial in this game, each level has a number of informative signs that give out clues about solving the level as well as any new properties that the goo balls on that level have. In addition, on the larger levels, the occasional firefly will spawn when you create a connection. These can be clicked to go back to that point -- useful if you are making a risky, barely balanced structure and need to go back a step. T he story unfolds as you progress through multiple levels, and I won't ruin it for you. It's fun and light, and the writing in general is good in the game.
Now that it's on iOS, World of Goo integrates Game Center for overall leaderboards and achievements. When you finish a level with more than the required number of goo balls, these go into an overflow world. In that world you can build your own free-form structure. The overall leaderboard keeps track of who has the highest structures, similar to console and desktop versions..
In my play though on the iPad, I really encountered just one annoyance. The "undo" fireflies have a tendency to get under-finger too much; clicking them accidentally is too easy. I've been assured by the developers that this has been fixed and an update will show up any day now.
I can't recommend World of Goo enough. If you are a fan of physics puzzlers or just a good games in general, this is a must have. While it's not a new game, it's good to have it finally on a platform that it seems to have been designed for.