Blimey – it’s June already !? Better start thinking about Christmas soon ;)
Anyway, that’s not what I want to write about today. I’d rather tell you about one of my favourite games. It’s not exactly brand new, but it’s worth mentioning. The game in question is World of Goo.
I first played World of Goo on my Mac, and it is also available for PC and Linux, but it’s the iOS version that’s recaptured my interest. Let’s talk about the game in general first, and then we’ll look at why the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch are so good to play it on.
World of Goo is a physics-based puzzle game. The game world is inhabited by millions of goo balls, who don’t know they are in a game or that they are extremely delicious. The object on each level is to help the balls reach the exit pipe by building them into various structures. There are several types of goo balls, which react in different ways to each other and the environment.
Sometimes you’ll be using your brain to work out the right sequence of events, using the right goo balls for the right task, and other times you’ll be manically building a structure hoping to reach the pipe before it collapses under its own weight.
If that were all there was to World of Goo it would be a pretty good physics game, but nothing particularly special given the number of Flash physics puzzles you can play online for free. What makes World of Goo even better is the interesting storyline, revealed through the writings of a mysterious sign painter, brilliant cartoon-style graphics, and an amazing soundtrack (which is also available to download for free, by the way).
It’s the combination of that storyline, how it all looks and sounds, and the enjoyment of solving each puzzle that makes World of Goo a very addictive and fun game.
Now, World of Goo is good when played with a mouse, but the touchscreen interface of iOS devices takes it to another level. See, you’re dragging and dropping those goo balls to build your structures, and it just seems natural to do it with your finger. I’ve certainly found that I can build structures more quickly with touchscreen than mouse controls and it really does just feel “right” to do it that way.
In short, World of Goo is fun, addictive, and on occasions nothing short of beautiful. I would recommend playing it on an iOS device, but if you want to take a look without dropping any cash on it there are demos available for Mac, PC and Linux machines.
World of Goo HD is available for iOS devices (iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch) from the App Store. For other formats (PC, Mac, Linux) check out the publisher’s homepage.