Is World of Goo The Perfect Game?

If it’s taken a flashy, 3D racing game to prove to the world that ‘real’ games can be done on an iPhone, then I’m delighted that a relatively simple 2D game with big hopes and a bigger heart has convinced me that the iPad is also a serious contender.  Previous iPad games have either tried too much or just been happy porting over iPhone games to the bigger screen, but with the notable exceptions of the likes of Cut The Rope there’s been enough misfires to make me keep clear of a lot of iPad releases over the last couple of months, instead preferring to sit it out and wait for the revolution.

That revolution happened on Friday, when 2D Boy’s World of Goo hit the App Store – yes, it’s a port of the PC, Mac, Linux and Wii game, but for a few reasons it’s suddenly elevated itself way above the already crowded market, which we’ll come back to later.  I’m one of these unapologetic types that thinks PCs aren’t for gaming – I truly don’t see the reason for continuous hardware updates and tweaking of settings when you can buy an Xbox 360 for £200, and the Wii’s either playing Super Mario Galaxy 2 or it’s shoved under the bed to make room for more useful things, like food.  Thus, World of Goo has almost entirely passed me by.  Until now.

I don’t feel like I’ve really missed anything, though – everything I’ve read over the weekend whilst playing through the game at my leisure has taught me one thing – it’s infinitely better on the iPad than any other version, and I think that’s down to the tactile feeling that you only (naturally) get with touch  control.  Whilst developers are shoehorning in fake buttons and tilt waggling all over the place, 2D Boy’s precise and intuitive control setup means success relies on your skill at the game, rather than your ability to juggle all manner of on-screen icons.

World of Goo’s overall brilliance, though, is in the way it eases you into the game before totally sinking in the hooks.  The titular Goo balls are the stars of the show, little (initially) black blobs that wander around little frames, embryonic building structures that form the basis of each level.  From there, you’ve got to drag the balls out of the structure to form new branches, new roots, and slowly make your way towards the exit pipe where the cute little animated blobs will be freed.  Of course, using up a blob to build means that you’ll rescue less, so it’s a case of weighing up the integrity of your framework against the highest possible score.

Physics soon comes into the equation, then, and it doesn’t take long before you’re making some wacky decisions to stretch out your handiwork over huge gaps or towards a wall to sink in some foundations, and after the first few levels the game introduces differently coloured blobs too, such as the red ones which act as balloons (and thus are handy for bridging the aforementioned chasms) but you can look forward to a few other types too, including the useful white ones that can form ropes.  Likewise, the environments you’re in vary too, and the wonderful graphical style is perfectly judged.

The game oozes charm from every pore – the visuals are gorgeous, the sound and music adorable and the challenge is pitched nicely, offering a smooth slope from simple beginnings to wickedly hard conclusion.  There’s elements of genius in the level design and the few moments of hand-holding mean that for the most part success is down to lateral thinking and a steady hand, and the feeling when you finally beat a touch level is wonderful.  There’s even a neat online meta game which sees you building the highest possible structure against everyone else in the world – a lovely touch.

The perfect game?  Quite possibly.

Buy it now from iTunes.


  1. Answer: No. :D

  2. Played the Wii version quite a lot – an absolutely fantastic game. Will hopefully be downloading the iPad version too.

    • Have you seen the price? Pretty steep!

      • It is expensive for an app, but it is in the middle when it comes to the platforms the game is on. It is more expensive than on Steam (I think), but cheaper than what you’ll have to pay for the Wii version.

  3. World of Goo is a perfectly charming game on the PC, but having to physically touch one of those iDevices to play it… Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

  4. loved it on my pc it is truly an amazing game but i wouldnt say perfect

  5. No game could ever be truly ‘perfect’. Close to perfect yes, but never perfect.

    • I agree. There is always one thing wrong with a game, even if it’s extremelly tiny, that means the game cannot be perfect.

    • The fact that perfection is based on one’s opinion ultimately makes everything imperfect, or rather just perfect in one’s own eyes.

      • This is starting to sound like a conversation from The Matrix :oD

  6. meh iphone…..

  7. *chuckles*

  8. I have played through this game on my mac, and as much as a loved it then i can only imagine hom much better it is on a touch interface! maybe ill pick it up again sometime later in the year and give it another go ipad style.

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