2DBoy makes Wiiware stick. Check out this intriguing downloadable game with our videos.
I remembered playing the experimental prototype that would become World of Goo almost two years ago. Back then the creators were college students exploring the limits of their creativity. Now, they're a three-man indie company that's currently “living in cafes and stealing Internet,” proving that WiiWare really is as open to innovation as everyone says it is.
World of Goo is essentially a physics simulation. You use the Wii remote pointer to pick up cute little balls of goo and connect them to each other to build towers, bridges, and all sorts of of assorted structures. Add a piece and the structure's center of gravity shifts, giving real-time feedback to your progress to bridge a gap or reach an objective. Sometimes this means a single piece in the wrong spot will cause the structure to collapse, so players can undo their most recent moves by clicking a limited number of white undo bugs that fly around the screen. The idea is to build a structure to reach an open pipe with enough goo balls left over to meet a quota. It's a really captivating and challenging small-scale engineering simulation.
Some gameplay from World of Goo.
Then World of Goo kicks everything up a notch. In addition to the merely structural black goo balls, they introduce green goo balls that can be removed from the structure freely so structures can change shape or expand as needed. Some goo balls start a level sleeping, so you need to get close enough to them to wake them up and add their resources to your own. Balloons can add lift to trap doors and even take entire goo structures airborne. Spikes and other obstacles can cut away pieces of your structure if you get too close. One level constantly rotated in 360 degrees even as you tried to build up a stable structure. Another level had gears that lifted a structure through a vague esophageal tube in what the developers called reverse-peristalsis (peristalsis is the medical term for the muscular motion that pushes food down your throat and to your stomach). And all of this creativity was just in the first world of the game.
The aesthetic of the game is also striking and feels like just the sort of new, radical style that indie games should bring to the table. The 2D artwork of the game stays completely original even while invoking both Monty Python and Jhonen Vasquez. The original music is eclectic yet somber. And the story is about a population of curious and naive little goo balls who discover a curious pipe that they can travel through… straight to the World of Goo Corporation and what is foreshadowed to be a tragically commercialized end.
More gooey gameplay samples.
The puzzles in world of Goo were really challenging, and I was foiled again and again at levels I thought I had a chance to beat. Obviously, the physics-based challenges are going to be far from a walk in the park. But given the vibe of creativity that World of Goo gave off at the event, I'm ready to be slimed whenever this game oozes its way onto WiiWare.