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Have You Played... World Of Goo?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

It is literally impossible that World Of Goo is from SEVEN YEARS AGO. That absolutely, categorically cannot be the case. There has simply been a malfunction in chronology. We had that world exclusive review maybe three years ago at most.

2008’s World Of Goo was a pivotal moment for indie gaming. This was two people who quit their jobs at EA to sit in Starbucks and code and promptly became millionaires. Just millionaires, mind – Minecraft will always subsume it for perceived indie significance. But it came at a time when independent developers had no such expectations. It hit a perfect moment, the point where Steam was reaching a critical mass, where PC was beginning its continued rise, and perhaps most importantly, just when Rock, Paper, Shotgun was finding its feet. We are the saviours of indie gaming, and there may be no debate.

And the reason this project was quite such a phenomenal success (2008 scale) was because it is sheer bloody perfection. 2D BOY took a wonderful idea – blobs of goo that when placed near each other formed rigid bonds, that could therefore be built into geometric towers – and then didn’t let it sit still for a moment. WoG’s levels, of which there are many, constantly develop the concept, introduce new Goo types, and raise the level of challenge with a precision that I’d argue is unsurpassed. But on top of that, it manages to introduce a remarkably sophisticated allegoric tale through chirpy bleats and wibbles. It generates a peculiarly deep sense of sadness at points, and at other times hope.

It remains a deep, deep shame that 2D BOY never went on to make anything else. However, great things have come from it, not least the Indie Fund that has facilitated the creation of many great games (Mushroom 11, Monaco, The Swapper, amongst many others).

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Who am I?

John Walker

Senior Editor

One of the original co-founders of Rock, Paper, Shotgun, I'm now a senior editor and hero of humanity. Old and special.

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