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.
World of Goo does not include business 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 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.