Brain & Puzzles
When World of Goo was announced for Android early October I was very excited to see how this wonderful indie game would look and feel on an Android tablet. I already knew the game very well, having fully completed the game on my Nintendo Wii. Would World of Goo retain the same fluid, intuitive gameplay and amazing look & feel that I had enjoyed so much on the Wii? Finally I could find out for myself when in early December the game was released in the Android Market, with a nice discount for a limited time as well. Now I can answer the question to whether World of Goo is worth your time and money on your Android tablet: YES, it definitely is!
Puzzles and Challenges
World of Goo is divided into five chapters where four chapters are based on the four seasons while the fifth chapter has a cyberspace theme. Every chapter has a number of levels and every level consists of a specific puzzle. These puzzles have the same goal, namely to direct a specific number of goo balls into a sucking pipe. You do that by using a certain quality that these goo balls possess: they stick together in triangles. And with triangles you can build! Sometimes you have to build sideways to cross a ravine, sometimes you have to build a tower up in the air, sometimes you have to build something sturdy and sometimes you have to build something fragile and light.
The More You Save, The Merrier
While building towards the exit pipe may sound easy, the challenge comes in the number of goo balls that you have to save, and in the fact that in many levels a goo ball used for construction is a goo ball lost to be saved. Usually the challenge to pass the level isn’t set too high and you are given enough initial goo balls to reach the pipe. But the more goo balls you save, in excess of the required target amount, the more goo balls you receive to play with in the extra free-play mode. This free-play mode, accessible from the main menu, allows you to build your own tower as high as possible using all the extra goo balls you saved in all the levels. Here you can also submit your score (the height of your tower) to OpenFeint to compare with others.
There is another challenge available in every level, which is called OCD or Obsessive Completion Distinction. Using the menu in every level you can check the OCD option and see what the specific requirement are to achieve the OCD-goal. Sometimes you have to save a certain number of goo balls (way beyond the minimum requirement to pass the level) and other times you have to finish the level in a certain amount of time which doesn’t allow for much error. If you manage to achieve the OCD goal you will get an additional flag for that level on the map to show for it.
World of Goo has a very distinct look and feel throughout the game. It gives an organic impression that really draws you in, immerses you into this strange and interesting world. Colors are used to emphasize objects or the general feeling of the theme of a specific chapter. This is especially the case with the cyberspace oriented chapter, giving the feeling of those ancient monochrome black and green screens. All this makes you feel part of a journey that you and those goo balls are making, where you are guiding and steering them towards a goal. And you want to keep going to see where it all leads to. The soundscape also aids towards this, with themed music that supports the different levels, and sound effects connected to the actions on the screen.
Even though I had already finished World of Goo on my Wii console I really wanted to have this wonderful game on my tablet as well. The difficulty is just right, where it is never overly difficult to complete a level but at the same time it does at times feel like a good challenge. And you can challenge yourself even further by trying to also get the OCD flags for every level for extra bragging rights. One big difference I noticed with World of Goo on the tablet compared to playing it on the Wii is the possibility for using multi-touch which you can use to your advantage (this features is only available on tablets). You can grab and move two goo-balls at the same time, which can be really useful for when you have to move very quickly in a dynamic building action. On the Wii, a second person could aid with a second Wii-controller but that feels different than doing it yourself with just your fingers.
Once again I am hooked by the atmosphere, the challenging puzzles and the storyline of World of Goo, and this time I can bring it everywhere with me on my tablet!