World of Goo produces exactly what it says in the title. Thousands upon thousands of tiny pieces of goo inhabit different environments, some with different colours and attributes, all making weird and wonderful noises. Yet don’t be fooled, this isn’t a game for children, or even the easily frustrated. It’s a game that requires critical thinking and quick reactions. And, of course, cute and friendly blobs of goo.
Taking control of the goo, your mission is to help them make it across whichever dangerous environment they find themselves in, towards their safe haven – a pipe to who knows where. Each piece of goo can move along other pieces, and the end goal is to help a certain number reach the pipe. This begins simply; all you need to do is stack several of the dollops on top of each other, the pipe will eventually suck the goo up. Yet, like all puzzle games, things gradually become more challenging as the game progresses, with spiked obstructions often blocking your path to their safety.
Not every blob of goo acts the same either. Black blobs will harden when connected, creating a firm bridge, but red blobs act as balloons. As well as their attributes differing, they also react differently to specific parts of each level; clear blobs are floppy, and so are no use when trying to defy gravity, so in the case of building across a gap, you should use another colour. With the different types of goo being introduced gradually throughout, the puzzles constantly keep you on your toes, as you often have to try and test the mechanics for them first.
The gameplay sounds so simple, but what makes World of Goo enjoyable is its use of realistic physics. This mechanic means that if you pile your goo together into one thin, long tower, the increasing likelihood there is of it toppling over into one pile of colourful bouncing balls. Yet build a solid, wide base upwards, and it’s certain to stand strong. This becomes ever more important throughout the game, as some obstructions include a windmill, which will chop your goo to pieces when hit. You need to use the game’s physics to your advantage to keep your goo from splattering, which requires careful planning and, above all, learning.
The locations are artistically bright and vibrant, and really show up well both on the Switch’s tablet and TV mode. The environments are delicately made, and make the game enjoyable to look at. Really, though, the level design is what makes the game interesting. The aforementioned windmill is only one part of a multitude of different obstructions. Getting your goo to their safety requires you traverse through spiked tunnels, over un-swimmable liquids (can goo swim anyway?), and across wide pits. There still isn’t a level editor present, which is a disappointment, yet the ones that you have to work with are a masterclass in design, allowing for the game’s brilliant physics to show off.
World of Goo works brilliantly on the Switch, and is one of the only titles to, as of yet, showcase its capabilities. In portable mode, players are required to use their fingers to direct the goo, which is amazingly responsive considering. In home-console or tabletop mode, the joy-con’s gyroscope can be used to point and click at wherever you want your blobs to move. Recalibration is easy if your pointer moves off track, yet because of this handheld mode is the easiest mode to play it in. Nevertheless both represent the several different ways you can play depending on your preferences.
As it was released several years ago now, World of Goo as a game itself hasn’t changed drastically. This isn’t a bad thing however; it’s a delightfully fun game to play, though at times it can be deceptively difficult. Yet it feels like its home should be on a Nintendo console, and none has done a better job of laying host to it than the Switch. With multiple different ways to play it and beautiful visuals made better, it serves up the best version that the game has to offer.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo Switch code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to email@example.com.
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