Dec 9, 2010The concept behind this game is great. It's a physics puzzler where you build goo based structures in order to save a collection of goo balls.
The problem lies in the concept's execution. The OCD challenges are what give replay value to the game but are frustrating to an incredible degree. Some of the challenges require you to finish the level within a certain amount of time but don't offer you a timer during the game. You have to wait until you finish the level to see your completion time. This means that you have to go back to the world map and then reselect the level again in order to retry.
A similar frustration is that you can't retry the level after the base number of goo balls have been collected. Some of the OCD challenges require you to collect and absurd amount of goo balls compared to the amount required to complete the level on its own. In one example, the level required me to collect 8 goo balls to continue to the next area. The OCD challenge required me to collect 36 goo balls. Again, this challenge is fine but the game does you no favors. You can't (easily) retry the level after you collect the first 8 goo balls. In order to even get the menu to pop up after collecting 8 goo balls and noticing I was going to fall short, I had to click, and then read, one of the in-game signs. There is no "retry" button after you complete a level so if you follow through and just finish you have to go back to the world map and then reselect the level you just finished. It would also be nice here to have something that tracked the goo balls that hadn't been used. This would save a lot of time as you would know exactly how many balls were left and how many more you could use before you had to start the level all over again.
The game offers an "undo" feature in these little time-warp bugs that generate every once in a while. Clicking on the bug steps back in time to the point where the bug was spawned. The main problem here is that it can be a pain to click on the bugs as they fly around the level, sometimes they end up right on top of my goo structure. Additionally, the bugs don't always go back to where they should, at least it seemed that way. It was common to rewind time and see my tower spasm wildly into the walls and spinning blades.
Moving the goo around is also pretty frustrating. Hovering over a goo ball stops it's movement even if it's in front of different type of goo ball. There were many times where I either destroyed my structure or missed critical timing because I couldn't select the goo ball I wanted. When you pick up the goo balls, you have to maneuver them around the objects in the world, which is generally fine, but at times is incredibly frustrating. At one point I had about 15 balls fall off of my structure and I had to drag them each individually up to the structure in order to finish the level.
World of Goo also has a gameplay mode that lets you build an infinitely tall tower of goo. This would be cool if you got anything for building a taller and taller structure but all it seems to do is allow you to compete with other people. The goo you collect from the "story" part of the game gets sent to the Corporation of Goo where you build the infinite tower. It would be nice if building a taller and taller tower unlocked something or other because otherwise there's no motivation to even use this part of the game.
The art is really nice, and one of the reasons I didn't mark this as low as I had initially thought. One small problem with the art art is that, at times, it's difficult to distinguish between the level's background and things like spinning gears that will destroy your goo structure and the goo balls themselves. It's also tough to distinguish between level boundaries and walls that you can use to prop up your structure. If the tower collapses and hits a wall, part of it is destroyed.
The music is good as well but there's no option to turn it off. The game lacks customization options in general and the full-screen key combination isn't even explained, I had to look it up online. To mute the music and play with my own I had to download a custom DLL that let me control the volume of the sound effects and the music - controls that should have been in the game by default. Changing the resolution required editing a config file, which is more than ridiculous for a fairly casual game like WoG.
All in all, this game frustrated the hell out of me. Not because the concept was frustrating, or even the gameplay, the UI and overall system built around the gameplay is what turned me off. There are features missing that are expected in modern puzzle games and features missing that are expected in modern games in general. The fact that this is an indie title is no excuse for a lack of a sound/volume menu, or the lack of a timer when challenges require you to finish a level within a time limit.… Expand
Dec 1, 2010This game sucks bigtime.
I love indie games, and i love puzzle games, but this is plain crap.
For starters, you can't change the resolution, but neither could you on Plants vs Zombies and that game's awesome.
The problem of this game is, like many have pointed out already, it's ridiculous difficulty curve. First few levels of world 1 are ok, and then you reach that "Tower of goo" level. I tried it 1000 times, watching "tutorials" on youtube and it's impossible. Well, possible it is, the problem is it's based on luck. You create a base structure which stands steady, and then you have to go as fast as possible to reach the top. As you can guess there is no precision, nor strategy involved. You have to get lucky that at some time you'll reach the top without the tower to collapse. So basically it's a "do the same thing a gazillion times and one of it you'll get lucky" strategy. Needless to say that after 5 times the music and sound effects get really, REALLY annoying and only add to the rage to the point you have to mute it.
This makes me think that the whole rest of the game and it's "difficulty" in the end resides on this luck which will drive you crazy and make you rage to the point you want to punch little babies.
You've been warned!… Expand