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World of Goo - the best cooperative gameplay on the Wii yet

After checking out World of Goo on my PC and reading a few glowing reviews (particularly Eurogamer's Wii review), I decided to buy it for the Wii using the WiiWare download service.

World of Goo - getting around

Multiplayer has always been my favourite aspect of the Wii, and Wii Sports/Tennis and Bomberman my favourite games on the console. (Haven't had the time to play much Mario Galaxy or Mario Kart yet.) Both Tennis and Bomberman are competetive games - though the best part of Tennis is playing doubles - while World of Goo is a purely cooperative game (well, unless you have rowdy friends, at least).

Very briefly explained, World of Goo is about helping small gooballs get to the exit of a level by building structures with them. It reminds me of a classic game called Bridge Builder (or Pontifex). However, WoG's puzzles are more varied, the art style is incredibly charming, the music is great, the gameplay is very well suited to the Wii remote, and best of all, the cooperative gaming is fantastic fun and totally hassle-free. When someone else is playing, you just pick up a remote and play along.

This is AWESOME, and the way every multi-player experience should be. Mario Galaxy does it, but the second player has too small a part in the gameplay to really compare with WoG. Left 4 Dead, where your squad of four players run around killing zombies in the first-person perspective, is the only other game I can think of right now that implements this so well (the L4D implementation is a bit more cumbersome, but then again it is a network game and a much more complex one at that).

Puzzle has never been this fun. We had a one-hour three-player session yesterday, and we careened back and forth between thoughtful placement of goo balls and total mayhem as we all extended the structure in multiple directions at once. I'll give two examples -

World of Goo - building the bridge
Bridge over troubled water

One level has you building a goo ball bridge from one side of a spiky valley to the escape pipe on the other side. To make sure the goo bridge doesn't get pulled into the spikes by gravity as you extend it, you place balloons on it. Place too many too fast in the wrong place, and the bridge will veer upwards, popping the balloons on the overhead spikes. Eventually, we figured out that placing the balloons as low on the structure as possible simultaneously with placing new goo balls worked well. Also, we could move balloons along the bridge as we extended it, to make more careful adjustments to its height. The fact that it really helped to be more people - we could do different things at once - makes the multiplayer gameplay feel very meaningful.

Another level requires you to build a huge tower of goo balls to get to the exit pipe far above. It took us a few tries to find the right balance of tower width at the bottom and narrowing spire at the top. Two times our tower project wobbled into chaos as we started madly extending the structure at the top. Total failures, but very, very, fun!

Try this game. Its single player mode is nice on the PC, but the gameplay really shines in the Wii cooperative mode.

Comments

Camilla,  15.01.09 17:14

You are of course aware that the next time you say you have too much to do, someone is bound to mention that you are playing around with goo balls.

It sounds fun, though. I have always been a fan of the strategy getting-from-one-place-to-the-other type of game (like lemmings and ....what was the name of the game? TIM? the incredible machine? ... something), but I am not sure I would be very good at cooperating with others.

At any rate, I have much more faith in this than in the evil singing/music stuff you push occasionally.

Eivind,  15.01.09 20:34

I also recommended this title in the forum some days ago, and I got to agree with Are - World of Goo is simply amazing! I´m playing it on Mac, so I don´t know how the coop would work, though.

Tor,  15.01.09 23:41

Seems funky, but does it beat the multiplayer experience of Secret of Mana? I'm not convinced.

Camilla,  16.01.09 10:08

I particularly like the "pop a timebug" bit. I think I want a t-shirt with that on.
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