World of Goo

World of Goo Review

A unique puzzler that stands the test of time

A.J. Maciejewski

Reviewed by playing a Switch on

World of Goo is also available for Wii

ESRB Everyone rating

Back in 2008, a little WiiWare physics-based construction puzzle game took the world by storm. Now that it's available for Switch, is World of Goo worth revisiting? Whatever the case, things are about to get sticky!

World of Goo screenshot 1
Goo balls look the same going in as they do coming out

There have been many construction-based puzzlers over the years. Having recently enjoyed Bridge Constructor and its Stunts sequel, I must say that World of Goo is an impressive surprise, especially because I haven't played it prior. You play it by dragging balls of goo in order to build structures. You solve many of the puzzles by having them reach pipes so that remaining goo balls can escape to the next stage. Its core gameplay is extremely simple and easy to pick up and play. However, many complexities arise throughout the campaign that'll force you to constantly change up your strategy. Having to remember what each kind of goo ball does is a rewarding treat that will push you to master each stage as efficiently as you can. Overall, World of Goo is a deceptively simple yet head-scratching puzzler that'll keep you hooked until every ball of goo finds their way home.

Just by looking at the screenshots, you can tell that World of Goo takes place in a rather bizarre world. These quirky visuals are filled with oddballs and distinct (albeit sometimes gross) environments. It all comes together to form a charming yet disturbing world that's hard to look away from. To accompany the strange atmosphere, an eclectic soundtrack composed of often frantic orchestral pieces does a great job of encouraging you to keep up your efforts. World of Goo truly is a great looking and sounding puzzler.

World of Goo screenshot 2
I wonder what would happen if Mario tried to go in that pipe at the other end...

As I've already touched upon, World of Goo features a lot of variety. Its campaign is composed of approximately 50 stages which is rather lengthy considering most puzzles take quite some time to figure out. Throughout it, you'll find yourself forcing a large monstrosity to regurgitate goo, sort large balls in a factory, carry objects with goo balloons, and explode obstacles. Even though the gameplay is inherently simple, accomplishing these tasks can be very tricky and they'll definitely test your puzzle-solving abilities.

Unfortunately, the constantly changing gameplay also ushers in a problem in that most mechanics are underutilized. Almost every stage involves accomplishing something completely different so you'll use some mechanics only once or twice which is a huge missed opportunity. In other words, the amount of variety should have extended the campaign to allow the player to master each mechanic as opposed to just learning it, passing a particular stage, then never using it again.

My only other complaints are that the puzzles can get exceptionally frustrating and there isn't much to do after the campaign. As you work out how to execute your solution, you can tap white bugs that undo your recent moves but you may run out of them thus forcing you to restart the stage. There's nothing more devastating than watching a tower that you spent minutes building topple over and not being able to undo your mistake. Finally, after you beat all of the puzzles, there isn't much content left. There's an optional mode where you build as high of a tower as you can known as World Of Goo Corporation. Besides that, you could always try and beat each stage as efficiently as humanly possible to earn an OCD flag but it's usually so tough to do that most gamers probably wouldn't bother.

World of Goo screenshot 3
Hey, beautiful, how's it Gooin'?

World of Goo was a phenomenally distinct puzzler when it first debuted and it remains worthwhile nearly a decade after its initial release. If you've never played it before then you owe it to yourself to download it on your brand new Switch.

  • + Simple construction puzzle gameplay
  • + Plenty of puzzle variety in its somewhat lengthy campaign
  • + Great music and quirky visuals
  • - Stages can be needlessly frustrating
  • - Constantly changing gameplay mechanics are mostly underutilized
  • - Not much to do after the campaign
7.7 out of 10
Gameplay video for World of Goo 5:05
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