World of Goo is a masterpiece. There was a time when 2-D games were considered top dog. Now 3-D games have stolen the attention of the world. Every time someone asks me what my favorite game of the year is, my mind immediately thinks of the big 3-D titles (Mass Effect, Uncharted, Halo etc.). Then along came World of Goo. Play 5 minutes, and it will have you fooled it’s just a bridge building game. Play the whole thing, and World of Goo will be punching you in the nads screaming “How DARE you judge me so early!” Even though it came out a few years ago, this is a title that will have you thinking “Game of the Year” no matter what year you’re in, what dimension it’s in, or how bad your nads hurt.
World of Goo starts out simple. You take little black goo balls and bind them together into structures in order to solve the puzzle of the level. This allows you to build bridges, erect towers, and clear paths for other goo balls to follow. Sounds simple enough, but the game doesn’t stop there. Like any quality title, each level is constantly challenging you to apply what you’ve learned in the levels before. As you progress, new types of goo balls are introduced, allowing you to build new weird structures throughout the game. With around 50 puzzles to solve, you’ll get to discover a lot of new gameplay mechanics in this small package.
The story is a feature you wouldn’t expect to be included in a game like this. 2-D puzzle solvers don’t bother with cut scenes or narrative because it often detracts from the gameplay (and is unnecessary). Normally I would completely agree with this sentiment, but World of Goo does story in a way that is so subtle and smart, you’ll be happy it’s there. Behind every new gameplay mechanic is a cleverly executed piece of story that justifies it. The cut scenes are short, creative, and never bothersome. Each one does an amazing job of getting you excited for the next new world or gameplay mechanic you’ll get to play in.
2-D games may have lost the attention of the masses, but this is a game that definitely made me turn my head back to the dimension. It has everything you would expect out of a top notch 3-D game: fantastic gameplay, unique art style, varied levels, and a beautiful soundtrack (available for FREE on their website). World of Goo emanates a level of quality you would think impossible coming from a few guys maxing out their credit cards. You won’t get a better game for ten bucks on Steam. It is available on WiiWare as well with a co-op mode, but it’s essentially the same game with two cursors. Despite all the 3-D games you play this year, it will be a strong competitor for your Game of the Year, any year you play it.