Sometimes, all it takes to to get the ball rolling is lots of balls. In this case, those happen to be Goo Balls.
is the best kind of casual game. Cranium-tickle; check. Bite-sized game sessions; check. Runs on toaster, if need be; check. Simple with complexity under the hood; check. Addictive to a fault; check. The list is longer than most of your legs.
Back in the olden days of 2008, two man team released World of Goo to widespread critical acclaim. The former EA employees blessed the world with a physics puzzle game perfect for your girlfriend, toddler or grandma, while retaining a level of polish and sophistication sufficient to endear even the coldest of gamer hearts, and all that on a budget of $10,000.
World of Goo creeps and slimes its way through four acts worth of story, narrated by the mysterious Sign Painter, which is basically a guide and hint system infused with some extra wit and character. The 50 or so levels play with diverse mechanics, a 4th wall (z-axis) breaking narrative, “oooh, so that’s how it works” moments and all manner of tricks that make you fall in love with what is essentially a load of uncommonly enthusiastic sludge and goo.
The impressive sound design, with music that induces a constant sense of forward momentum and little pops, clicks, cheers and drips, whenever you interact with the little Goo balls is a thrill in their own right.
Now might be a good time to give World of Goo a try in case you missed it and it takes about 6 hours to beat. It’s also an excellent example of what games can do in a tight, well-polished, package for all those times some uninitiated simpleton walks up to you and asks “What is this Games thing you constantly rant on about?”
World of Goo is available, DRM free, for $10-20 with most digital distributors and across most platforms.