Resource-heavy games are lavishly adorned with crispy in-depth 3D graphics, environmentally accurate gunshots, explosions and sound dynamics are all the rage these days. To make the games appear more realistic, they are loaded with various game enhancing algorithms, physics or Artificial Intelligence (AI). As a result, gamers pump in quite a lot of hardware to maximize their overall gaming experience.
· Released: November 2008
· Developer: 2-D Boy
· Publisher: Brighter Minds
· Genre: Puzzle
· Graphics: 7/10
· Sound: 7/10
· Gameplay: 8/10
· Difficulty: Moderate
· Overall rating: 7/10
· Learning curve: 5 minutes
· Official website: 2dboy.com/games.php
· Operating system: Windows XP, Vista, Pentium III CPU: 1.0 GHz or equivalent
· Memory: 512 MB
· Video memory: 32 MB
· Hard drive space: 100 MB
Graphic and memory cards have also gained considerable importance. They allow gamers to play graphics-heavy games such as Far Cry 2 and memory intensive game such as Call of Duty 4. However, a game comes along that finds its way up to the top and breaks all these expectations. World of Goo, is a simple 633 megabyte downloadable game that proves you don’t need a beefed-up game or a thousand dollar system to have fun.
The game, as the name of the developer suggests, is two-dimensional. It begins with a few balls of Goo that suddenly wake up from their deep slumber and find themselves questioning their very existence. They wonder who they are, what they are doing there and where they came from.
There is only one solution to the dilemma plaguing them and that is a mysterious pipe which they feel will lead them to a justifiable answer. Although, there is no light at the end of the tunnel, the Goo balls insist their sole purpose of existence is to make their way towards that pipe. Many lives are lost in the process but the sacrifice is necessary to achieve their destiny.
The globs of Goo can attach themselves to each other using strands and can form a grid-like structure. The brethren that aren’t sacrificed to build the girdles, traverse along it and eventually get sucked up in the pipe. Each game level poses different challenges and requires a minimum number of Goo’s in order to move on to the next realm. Sounds simple doesn’t it?
However, the 2-D world is a dangerous place with its sharp spikes, flaming furnaces and grinding cogs all of which are lethal for the delicate globules of Goo. They can also fall into bottomless chasms or fall off from cliffs. The ever-persistent Goo’s need to build up the structure, weight, flexibility, angle and tensile strength to wobble in the air, bend, fold over, or at times totally collapse. Building structures requires planning. As the levels progress, new species of Goo balls are found and each one has its own special power.
The game comprises five chapters and each chapter comprises a dozen levels. Chapters are as diverse as the denizens found in them. Gamers will enjoy unique themes such as the dangerous industrial zone or the dark reality behind the glamorous world of beauty. Tower heights achieved from participants around the world are shown as floating flags in the air.
The game has no end to its creativity which is exhibited by the way developers have designed the Goo ball relatives. They range from green Goo balls that are stretchy and reusable, to flammable Goo balls that burn away when ignited. These little creatures come in many shapes and sizes, from watery ones that can form into chains, to bubblegum Goo, that inflate and work against gravity pulling together sturdy structures.
The level designs are equally tasteful posing unique challenges and inspiring our lovable slime to use their teamwork to get up a sucking pipe. You might be required to build a tall towering structure and gently let it topple far enough to touch the remote cliff or climb up a shaft of rotating cogwheels by building a sticky girdle of green.
Visually the game is flat shaded with simple dull colors. The land looks odd and abnormal with simple weird designs and backdrops, all suiting the premise of the game. The story is presented through signboards left all across the land by the mysterious sign painter. These messages offer clues about getting to the pipe. Cut-scenes at the end of each chapter reveal part of the mystery behind the Goo balls and their destiny.
Music is as delightfully creepy as the levels designs. The Goos speak a simple dialect of high-pitched excited squeaks and expressions. The only downside is that when you are fully immersed in this unique experience, it ends abruptly leaving you wanting more. World of Goo is highly recommended for gamers who do not have heavy systems and would still like to have fun playing some good old-fashioned computer games. It is well-suited for people who want to try something other than heavy-duty, high frames per second (fps) games. To sum it up, World of Goo is packed with an addictive gameplay experience that people won’t easily forget.