How well does this WiiWare gem hold up on the Switch?
Nintendo's history with digital distribution has been an interesting one. With the launch of Wii, Nintendo introduced their first online store, the Wii Shop Channel. Shortly after that came a section in it dedicated to exclusive Wii downloadable software known as WiiWare. World of Goo is known to be one of the finest offerings that WiiWare offers, and is featured on many "Best Of" lists, but how does it still hold up with a fresh release on the Switch? Turns out pretty great.
World of Goo is a physics-based puzzle game where you grab little "Goo-Balls" and create unique structures to solve different scenarios. The goal of each level is to traverse to a pipe and deposit a certain number of Goo-Balls into it. Once I learned how a certain mechanic worked, the game would shake things up and propose a different way to use that mechanic, and things never got boring.
Figuring out how the weight distribution and gravity works in World of Goo is very satisfying, and fun to play with. Some puzzles have you building bridges, some have you unlocking different areas, and some even have you working against the clock before you get burnt to a crisp. Working your way through these puzzles can be difficult, but I never really felt overwhelmed. The gameplay progression overall just plain feels good and almost every puzzle feels different.
The aesthetic is also one of its strong points. Right when I started the game I was greeted with an amazing Danny Elfman-like score and visuals reminiscent of Tim Burton and Dr. Seuss. The music and sound FX are very enjoyable and mood setting(and as a bonus the full sound track can be listened to straight from the main menu). The visuals make a great impression in HD as well.
Throughout the game there are (literally) signs that guide you and give hints about what to do in the levels, created by the "Sign-maker." These clues are usually written with a funny and witty personality, and are always a joy to read. Another cool part of the game is that all of the levels connect to an overworld with an abstract of each level being displayed to pick from. Thankfully, if a level is too hard you can skip it and move on your way, but honestly I never really wanted to.
A few control options are available to choose from in World of Goo. You can use a Joy-Con to point and click just like a Wii Remote, and even play cooperatively with a buddy. You can use this method playing in docked mode or tabletop mode. The multiplayer is a great feature as it is intuitive and works very well. If you want to play in portable mode, the game features a touchscreen-only control method, which may be my favorite way to play. Playing with the touchscreen feels good and accurate, though your fingers can block part of the screen very easily. As for the Joy-Con, they feel nice and quite accurate, but I had to recalibrate them quite often.
All in all, World of Goo is a fun puzzle game and a great addition to the Switch eShop. It has addicting gameplay, great artistic production, and is a title that showcases how versatile the Switch really is. Multiplayer is a blast, and the various control options make it easy to play in different situations. If you are a fan of physics-based puzzle games, this is a game you won't want to miss