How did three guys make this game?
On face value, World of Goo seems like a rather bland game that involves building a tower by placing points in 2D space and amounts to nothing more than a stylized 2D physics demo. However, upon further inspection World of Goo proves to be an amazingly deep experience with charm, character, and style.
World of Goo has a fairly simple premise: link together a variety of goo balls to reach the exit pipe. As long as you have the requested number of goo balls remaining unused, they will travel along the structure you've built and out the exit pipe, thus completing the level's goal. Any goo balls that make it to the exit pipe in excess of the goal amount will be shipped off to the World of Goo Corporation, where players can use them to construct the largest tower possible, similar to the original prototype, Tower of Goo.
Thankfully, reaching the exit is never a simple affair and requires efficient use of the level's structure to avoid destroying the goo balls on hazards. In the opening chapter, players are only given access to the black goo balls, which can be linked to a maximum of two other goo balls and can not be moved once placed. In subsequent chapters, players are introduced to other types, such as the green goo balls that can be linked with up to three other goo balls and can be unattached and reused. This ability results in situations where players can "climb" the goo balls up surfaces by constantly rebuilding the goo structure upwards in a narrow opening.
2D Boy has said before that the game couldn't be done anywhere that didn't have access to a pointer, and that proves to be completely true in practice. The game controls quite smoothly with the Wii Remote, allowing players to simply point at the screen and push the A button to grab and hold goo balls. Linking the goo balls to the structure is also a breeze. Holding the pointer near other goo balls will bring up link guidelines, displaying how the structure will look upon placement of the goo ball. Though the game will display the intended structure, it gives no indication of the physical effect on the structure. Placing that particular goo ball may cause the whole tower to tilt, due to the quasi-realistic physics of the game.
As expected, the chapter progression brings harder and more involved challenges that require more tactful usage of the different goo balls. Additionally, each chapter contains a "boss level" that has a goal unlike the other stages of the game. These levels are used to convey a piece of the story and have more abstract goals that are interesting to discover and fun to experiment with.
Simply completing World of Goo will take players on the magnitude of eight to ten hours. Players can then go back and attempt the "OCD" challenges to extend their play time, or build up the highest tower possible in the World of Goo Corporation mode.
To complement the innovative and clever puzzles are amazing production values that surpass those of nearly all retail titles. Most players will immediately connect with the Tim Burton-esque art style, the Danny Elfman-esque music, and the Tim Schafer-esque humor conveyed through the various signs located in each of the levels. The sound effects help bring the goo balls to life; reacting to touch and placement, their sounds also help make the game feel more tangible. The clean cut graphics are a nice touch as well, making the game shine that much brighter. When it comes down to it, even the game's menus are unique and interesting.
Perhaps the most stunning part of World of Goo is the fact that it was created by a team of three people. The game should serve as a guide and an inspiration to independent developers everywhere. Even without a big budget and publisher backing, a stunning game experience can still be produced, particularly within the WiiWare boundaries.
World of Goo should not be passed over by a single gamer. It is easily the best WiiWare game to date and, perhaps, one of the best this generation.