Nintendo Fall Media Summit: World of Goo

I’m going to flat-out say it: there’s a very good chance World of Goo will end up being the killer app that Nintendo’s WiiWare feature, which has thus far been mediocre at best, direly needs. That might sound lofty and maybe just a little too eager, but I can’t help myself: from what I’ve seen so far, World of Goo is creative, fun, challenging, beautiful and dynamic.

Indie developer 2D Boy touts World of Goo, its first game, as a “physics based puzzle / construction game,” and such a description couldn’t be more accurate.

World of Goo revolves around a simple gameplay mechanic: with a designated number of goo-blobs (for lack of a better term) at your disposal, build a structure that fulfills basic requirements and allows you to complete a puzzle. For instance, a pack of disconnected goo-blobs must somehow make their way to a large sucking tube at the far end of the map. Gamers must build a bridge using, let’s say, 300 goo-blobs, capable of letting the disconnected goo-blobs across. Sounds easy, doesn’t it?

As it turns out, it isn’t—this game has a surprising amount of difficulty and depth, and revolving around a complex physics engine, the structures created with the goo-blobs must be built with astonishing finesse. While manipulating the goo-blobs is easy enough, manipulating them correctly is a completely different story. In a game-type where in which the objective is to build a goo-blob structure as high as possible, I found my top-heavy goo-blob tower collapsing under its weight more than once. I can’t wait to see the variety of goo-blob (what a wonderful word, really) puzzles the final game has to offer.

I only had the opportunity to play World of Goo for about ten minutes, and while I didn’t see very much of the game, what I experienced was magnificent. The game’s surreal art direction and cartoonlike aesthetic are both original and compelling, but these are only small pieces of what makes the game such an immediately engaging and delightfully delicious experience. This game simply oozes personality. The music is some of the best I’ve ever heard in a video game, the sound effects are just plain endearing—if the game retains its nearly flawless design and implementation through to the end, we may just have a modern classic on our hands.

I really shouldn’t get so far ahead of myself. I’d hate to see how enthusiastic I’d be if I had played the game for a whopping twenty minutes.

Alas, I digress: so far, World of Goo seems like a wonderful, if not integral, addition to the WiiWare library and I can’t wait to get my hands on it when it releases in less than a week—And you should be just as impatient.