World of Goo(d)

By Kieron Gillen on January 16th, 2008 at 10:20 pm.

GOO!

I wasn’t expecting my preview of IGF-Grand-Finalist nominee World of Goo to go up yet, but it has. Which is lucky, as I no longer have to bite my lip about getting really excited about it here. In it, I start like this…

Having played through the preview code of this, the first twenty percent of the full game, I found myself desperately looking around for someone to tell about the thing. Except it was after 1am and no-one was awake, so I just paced and growled and generally acted as if someone had put a bunch of termites inside my head, and I had no way of getting them out. Thank the Lord of Eurogamer that I get to tell you lot about it, as otherwise it’d be straightjacket time.

And pretty only get increasingly giddy. Go read the rest, then come back and I’ll find some more stuff to say.

Well, worth stressing, I wasn’t exaggerating about the first paragraph, as some of who also read my Workblog may have already suspected. I’ve spent my time since passing word of it and how they should get hold of code to my usual selection of fellow game journalists, knowing that they want to see this. You only really rarely get chances where you’re slightly ahead of the herd – this was the first hands-on preview of World of Goo – and it’s fun to run with that. I certainly urge any journalist out there to see if you can talk 2D Boy into letting you have a nose. I have the suspicion this will be this year’s Peggle, in terms of the surface-simple Puzzle game which takes over the PC-mainstream.

Except that’s not really true – it’s a much more traditional PC game-game than Peggle, whose puzzles are purely abstract things, with the whole thing’s plot being obviously deeply tongue-in-cheek – hell, the whole graphical style’s appeal is that it’s so obviously ironic. Conversely, there’s little of that in World of Goo. It’s a surreal little, perfectly considered, coherent world, and while it uses irony neatly at a few points, it’s proper-irony rather than so-shit-it’s-good quasi-irony.

And I’m going off on one, which I’m trying not to do – there’s lots of pretentious things to say about it (Hell – for me, everything has a few pretentious things to say about), but they’re not what’s key. It’s just a charming, funny puzzle game. When Jim saw it, amazed by how slick it feels for a two-person show, he noted it passed his girlfriend test in the head – that it’s something he can imagine his other half playing and adoring. When Alec saw it, he thought it was quite something, paused in the MSN window for a few seconds and determinedly stated that it was something we should Champion. And John’s been playing fellow IGF-finalist Crayon physics Deluxe, so no news on that front yet. I bet he likes it.

We’ll hopefully have an interview with 2D Boy just before World of Goo’s release, but you want, you can pre-order the game for twenty dollars from their site. That allows you to become a Beta Tester, if you so desire, and gives access to the pre-order specific profanity pack, which swaps the eeks and ooks of your Gooey charges for my usual brusque idiom.

It also has a trailer, but let’s link that here to end the post with a bit of pizzazz.

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23 Comments »

  1. Jack Monahan says:

    It’s looking extremely dialed in. They clearly have “their thing” and there’s no doubt as to what’s going on. The Jhonen Vasquez/Tim Burton (with Elfman) elements are evident, and look like a great match for the gameplay.
    Keeping this one on my radar.

  2. StolenName says:

    There really wasn’t much to do after playing Tower of Goo, watching the trailer and reading your preview, but pre-order the game.

  3. dartt says:

    I feel sorry for the elderly who may have trouble converting from the Peggle to the WOG system.

    How many Peggles are in a WOG?

  4. Schadenfreude says:

    WOGs eh? There’s an acronym you wanna be careful with.

  5. Kieron Gillen says:

    Yeah. I’d be really careful, gentlemen.

    KG

  6. Chris R says:

    Eh? Whats the bad meaning?

  7. Chris R says:

    Ahhhh…. Wikipedia helped me out. Seems it’s an older British racial term from the time of the old Empire, and me being a silly American didn’t know about it.

  8. roBurky says:

    I’ve had their website bookmarked since the trailer came out in September. This is the kind of eventual outcome the experimental gameplay project was aiming for, I imagine.

  9. StolenName says:

    In Australia “wog” is used as a slur referring to people of generally Greek or Italian decent. More specifically to those wearing a bum bag, speaking with a language roughly based on English and usually giving you the finger from a Holden Commodore.

  10. James says:

    Wow. I must admit, I haven’t seen this one around before. It looks pretty amazing, and it’s definitely something I’ll be keeping an eye out for.

    Crayon Physics Deluxe is pretty high on my watchlist too, come to think of it. It’s definitely a good crop of games from IGF this year.

  11. Andrew Farrell says:

    They clearly have “their thing”

    They clearly have a thing, but the developers of Loco Roco might question whether it’s actually theirs. Not the specific gameplay mechanic, just the general, you know, thing.

  12. fluffy bunny says:

    “the developers of Loco Roco might question whether it’s actually theirs.”

    In that case, they’d be wrong.

  13. Philip says:

    Hasn’t this been out in some form before, say about 12 months ago?

  14. Babs says:

    Yes, as a sort of sandbox type thing without a real game. I can’t find it with Google now, but I did find a youtube video for another game , which has the best voice over EVER:
    youtube.com

  15. Crispy says:

    ‘Goo’ (linked above) is also an Independant Games Festival finalist.

    I want to play them both and, depending on how good they are, I might even be tempted to overcharge myself for the privilege by throwing extra monies at their PayPal accounts.

  16. Kieron Gillen says:

    Ah yes – I saw Goo a while back. I like the physics. Here’s it’s entry. I found it using Google.
    http://www.igf.com/php-bin/entry2008.php?id=101

    (Pun deliberate).

    KG

  17. Hypocee says:

    If we’re going to jokingly accuse them of plagiarism, then let’s get it right: The art style and especially the story could not be closer to Oddworld.

  18. cliffski says:

    Hey I PREFER a sandbox approach to stuff like this. Since when does sandbox not mean a real game? I hate having a wonderful simulation and them seeing it hamstrung by a bunch of artificial challenges and targets. I know how to have fun and play without people putting me on some linear ride. bah whine moan!
    This looks l33t. Original game was great.

  19. 'The' 'Grandma' says:

    The game KG refered to states “Goo is a unique genre-boundary destroying arcade strategy game.”

    Unique? Really? So, er, “liquid wars” means nothing to him? http://images.google.co.uk/images?q=liquid+wars&ie=UTF-8&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-GB:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&sa=N&tab=wi