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Review:
World of Goo
Graham Jones
gleefully jabbers about goo-joinery... 


I'm not obsessed with physics, but three issues in and I've been given my third game that will succeed or fail based on its physics engine. Due to the simple yet unique nature of World of Goo, the gameplay relies heavily on the satisfying way in which gravity and inertia affect your creations within the game world. In games like this, if the physics aren't right, the game is really going to struggle. Fortunately, this its satisfying. Very satisfying. And unique. It's also a WiiWare title.

Ah yes, WiiWare. I think it's pretty fair to say that, since its launch last year, it's not exactly left us buried beneath a avalanche of grade-A titles. When Nintendo first announced its service for downloading new games direct to your Wii, they spoke of the opportunity for smaller developers with big ideas to deliver fresh new content, the likes of which we have never seen before. Aside perhaps from Lost Winds and Tetris Party, there hasn't yet been much in the way of must-haves, and neither of those games is hugely original. Enter 2-Boy. With a team of just two people they have created one the most beautiful, original and addictive games yet seen on Nintendo's home console; finally the big N's WiiWare manifesto is becoming a reality.

The game itself involves using the pointer function of the Wii remote to drag blobs of goo together to form structures, with the goal of each stage being to get these structures to reach a pipe somewhere else in the level. It's one of those concepts that sounds so simple that it shouldn’t work, but when it's executed this well it becomes an instant classic. The combination of beautiful presentation, bucket-loads of humour and truly ingenious level design really does allow this low-budget, underground title to stand tall next to all Nintendo's in-house releases seen thus far on the Wii.

"...an instant classic..."

Standing tall is what this game is all about. Building towers of goo which are constantly shifting their centre of gravity as you carefully try to position your next blob to get ever closer to the pipe you're aiming for is fantastic fun. Each level throws ever more well-thought-out puzzles and never becomes repetitive or dull, but will simply make you smile with delight, or cry tears of frustration as your latest creation begins to teeter over the edge of a cliff before crashing to the floor. Even after a disastrous failure you’ll always want to pick yourself up and try again, as the game is so fiendishly addictive and the gameplay so compelling. 

Suffice to say, World of Goo is fantastic. This therefore raises the question; why do the majority of Wii owners not know of its existence, nor of the ability to download games from the Wii Shop Channel? It seems to me that this is the perfect title for Nintendo to push its download services to the masses. It's easy to pick up, addictive as hell, brilliant fun to play in multiplayer and is just a fraction of the price of a retail release. I think everyone knows quite a few people who don't really play games in the traditional sense, but have a Wii sat under their TV; ask them if they're aware that they can download releases direct to their console - they probably aren't. Most don’t even seem to know their consoles can connect to the internet. I'm not totally sure what the hell they think the news, weather and shop channels that come preloaded onto their home menus are for, but surely we could get the Redknapp family to let the people know about it. 

"...constantly shifting the centre of gravity.."

World of Goo is a special game, and it would be a true shame if the ability for similarly small developers with big ideas to create titles this good, without the need for Hollywood-style budgets, was destroyed due to download numbers being too low because not enough Wii owners knew of the game nor the service it's provided on. Forgive my preachy manner, but please, do yourself and the rest of the gaming community a favour, top up on your Wii Points and download World of Goo immediately. Then tell your friends to do the same, and perhaps Nintendo's revolution may become reality. 

DEVELOPER: 2D-Boy
PUBLISHER: WiIWare
FORMAT: Wii (ported from PC)
ALTERNATIVE: Crayon Physics Deluxe (85%)

Goo, glorious goo!

90%


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