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General Description

World of Goo, a 2D puzzle game and the first title from new independent developer 2D Boy, was released in October of 2008 as a downloadable title on PC and for the Nintendo Wii. In it players use the Wii remote (or mouse) to pick up and move little blobs of goo, most of which will sling to each other allowing the player to use them to build structures such as towers or bridges.


Players will encounter a few dozen levels over the course of the five worlds of the game, each of which revolves around a totally different puzzle, most of which require the player to guide a group of goo balls through some obstacle to reach a goo-sucking pipe on the other side of the level. Players are most often judged on the amount of goo that successfully reaches the pipe, and extra goo that escapes beyond the amount required to complete the level are sent to the World of Goo Corporation, a wide-open level that invites players to build infinitely high towers, limited only by the amount of goo that has been collected throughout the game.


The game’s levels ramp up in difficulty at a satisfying pace, smoothly introducing clever new ideas and new types of goo for the player to use. This bodes well for the level of creativity behind the title, one of its educational strengths; 2D Boy has more or less invented a brand new game mechanic, and the number of clever uses of it here is really astonishing. Every logical challenge you might think of is represented in one of the game’s levels, as well as several that you never would. Player creativity is also a strength, as World of Goo invites players to experiment throughout the game, particularly in the World of Goo Corporation mode that asks players to build the tallest tower that they can.

Grade by Game Type Overall Grade
B C+
Ratings at a Glance
Facts: 1 Title: WORLD OF GOO
Creativity: 9 Publisher: Independent
Business: 0 Developer: 2D Boy
People: 4 Year: 2008
Problem: 7 Genre: Puzzle Solving
Simulation: 3 Strengths: creativity, problem, popularity
Popularity: 10 Platforms: PC
Extra: 0  
Rating Details

Classroom Facts


World of Goo is a sort of abstract simulation of architectural concepts; if players want to build bridges, then they’ll have to build supports. These ideas are far from simple but, even far into the game’s more complex levels, building things like elaborate counter-balances to keep tall towers standing never really feels unintuitive, and small architecture lessons like these are pretty hard to find in videogames.


Creativity & Imagination


By the Gamer:


World of Goo is mostly linear, only allowing players to choose between levels a few times, but its basic mechanics leave plenty of room for improvisation. Each stage offers a totally new puzzle, and most of these can be solved in so many different ways that no two players are ever likely to complete them in the same way.


The wide-open World of Good Corporation mode offers a whole other option, giving players freedom to create towers as high as they are able given all of the goo they’ve collected to that point in the game. As players ascend they’ll encounter various clouds on the screen, each of which represents the height of another player’s tower, giving the otherwise casual mode a hint of competition.


Every stage of the game also includes a hidden challenge, often rescuing a very high number of goo but sometimes finishing a stage in a certain amount of time or number of moves, that give skilled players or players who have already completed the game something more to attempt and challenge themselves with.


By the Developer:


World of Goo is one of the most original titles of the year on several different fronts. It offers a totally new game mechanic, one that is clever and entertaining, and it maximizes this mechanic through its few dozen levels, always challenging the player while never offering the same challenge twice.


World of Goo includes an arresting visual style that introduces different themes over the game's five worlds, as well as an impressive original soundtrack that despite containing a relatively low number of tracks manages to really stand out.


Business Skills


World of Goo does not include business skills.


People Skills


World of Goo allows multiple players to play through the main game together, though the game doesn’t change to accommodate this change in any way, instead simply allowing extra players to tag along.


Problem Solving


Problem solving in World of Goo varies from level to level, but the central mechanic of picking up and moving goo balls always remains. Some levels have players scaling walls or building structures meant to roll gigantic balls around; others have them extending long bridges between ceilings and floors of deadly spikes or lifting groups of goo out of pools of water. World of Goo does a fantastic job of varying the goals set before the player without ever abandoning the mechanics it introduces early on. Even newly introduced goo types, like balloon goo that can be picked up and moved multiple times and can be used to support flimsy structures or spiky goo that can cling to any surface serve only to add onto the rules that the game has already set before the player and make the experience that much richer.




World of Goo is not a simulation game, though it is in some senses an extremely abstract architectural simulation.




World of Goo has received near universal critical acclaim since its release, being praised for the originality of its mechanics and the truly clever level design that is displayed throughout the game.


Controls & Options


Players can adjust various standard audio and visual options. No difficulty levels are available, though the extra challenge included in each level help in this regard.




World of Goo received an E from the ESRB with a descriptor for Comic Mischief.