Normally I would save reviews for these larger and more well known (and not completely free) games for later, but, seeing how they just released the soundtrack for free i thought i should stay on the ball and link to the soundtrack as well as review the game. Anyway I hope everyone watches the inauguration today and I hope you enjoy my second review!
Name: World of Goo
Author: 2D boy
Platform: Windows, Mac, and Wii (via WiiWare) (Linux coming soon)
Price: $20, free demo
Players: 1 on PC, up to 4 on Wii
An engineer's dream, that's simple enough to be picked up by anyone. 2D boy presents his first game, a real time physics/engineering game with interesting puzzles and an amazing art style. When I first saw this game, as Tower of Goo (http://www.fun-motion.com/physics-games/tower-of-goo/ ) I was impressed by the design and how fun it was. The game has taken leaps and bounds since that (although it did keep a side game that is somewhat similar to that game). Although it kept the same basic game play the art is much more beautiful, the puzzles are much more challenging and the game has tons more personality.
In WoG you play as, well, it's not exactly clear, but your job is to manipulate goo balls that stick to each other to create structures to get to the pipe at the end of the puzzle. Originally you start out only using the black goo, which has no special properties; they just stick to each other when put together and stays there, and moves around when free. Eventually you get many different types of goo which you have to use in order to solve each puzzle.
The puzzles always have the same end goal; get as much goo (sometimes of a specific type) to the pipe as possible; the way of doing this, though, varies dramatically throughout the game. Although most puzzles require you to build some sort of budge or tower you have to use the right goo in the right situation. The puzzles are varied enough to keep you interested, and challenging enough to keep you engaged. The challenge level of this game can waste a lot of your time, but it's not anymore challenging then it should be, so it is highly advised for both avid games and casual gamers with some time to play, be prepared to actually think about each puzzle though.
The art style in this game is amazing. I absolutely love the intentionally imperfect yet still awesome, unique art style. The music for the game fits well, with tracks long enough and ambient enough not to get on your nerves, even if you are stuck on a puzzle for a prolonged period of time. Each song has a unique personality to go with the just as unique level. Speaking of the sound track 2D boy is offering it for absolutely free at: http://kylegabler.com/WorldOfGooSoundtrack/ and it is defiantly good enough to download and listen to even if you haven't played the game, and if you have played it it's a great way to invoke those friendly memories.
The story telling is great, it meshes seamlessly with the music and art style, it just goes well with the whole feel of the game. The game is split up into different chapters, each with slightly varied styles and feels, this provides a great way to add a little cut scene at the end of each to move along the story as well as providing the player with a sense of accomplishment. Other then the cut scenes (which are short and sparse, nothing more then whats required to tell the story), level design, and music, the story is told through signs posted in each level which give you hints on how to complete the puzzle, tidbits to unravel the story, and a little humor, all of which are signed by "the sign maker". The plot has many twists and turns to keep you engaged, so I wont ruin any of the story, as well as a lot of meta comedy to keep you smiling.
World of Goo is intuitive, fun, unique, and extremely enjoyable. I highly advise this game for anyone who wants to face some serious puzzles (each one with an "OCD" challenge for, well, the OCD people who just NEED to finish the whole game, or anyone looking for more difficulty), which can be solved multiple different ways , or just looking for a fun game with a great design and story where you get to make some cool stuff. Defiantly at least download the demo (available off the site) and give the first chapter a spin, it should be enough to have you fall in love with the game, and it is well worth the $20. Let's hope that 2D boy continues on their path of greatness, because this is definitely one of the best indie games of 2008.
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