Greatest-of-its-generation 2D physics-builder puzzle - refined concept, masterful soundtrack, Seussian artstyle, and a undercurrent of social satire, all in a 70mb game about nondescript grey blobs.
World of Goo wastes no time in establishing what might as well be it’s only mechanic, making a finite number of connective links between nodes of the titular ‘goo’ to reach an arbitrary goal while building around a number of contrived obstacles and hazards - gameplay that the vast amount of players will have seen somewhere before from any number of rudimentary ’2D builder’ games before this one.
What sets apart World of Goo from all others trying to ape this genre is how a handful of independent industry veterans have pooled their combined experience, talents, and vision to create a roughly three-to-four hour long experience brimming with artistic integrity. In a series of chapters that have remained so relevant since 2008 it begins to border on the prophetic, themes of corporate consolidation, petroleum usage, and social media datamining run throughout the plot as experienced by a collective of evidently sentient lumps of black-grey ooze that possess an almost-childlike innocent curiosity and cuteness about them despite being little more than blank circles with googly eyes.
Across five highly-distinct chapters and a post-game sandbox area, you will get to experience gameplay that enjoys shaking up the fundamentals of the puzzle concept while never becoming obtuse. Each of the humorous story beats (best left unspoiled) works well in the cartoony artstyle and hand-drawn cutscenes and are perfectly underscored with a musical score tailored to each encounter in addition to the snippets of lose pseudo-lore provided courtesy of the enigmatic ‘Signpainter’ and mysterious ‘MOM’ figures - and more than one very well-hidden secret area.
World of Goo is the type of game that could be fired out over the course of one afternoon, but is the type of experience liable to sit on your mind for a quite a while - even if you aren’t an Achievement hunter seeking the ‘OCD’ (“obsessive completion distinction”) bonus objective awards - until you inexorably decide to return to this cozy, gooey, nook in indie gaming history. For newcomers to the game, swayed by this review or any number of the online testament to this title’s great content, it is a game that I will state you won’t regret taking in the unique atmosphere of.