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    cjvitek's Avatar
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    Default Review: World of Goo HD, by 2D Boy (universal binary)

    World of Goo HD, by 2D Boy (universal binary)
    $4.99, ****

    • A great design and implementation
    • Unique game play design

    • iPhone screen just too small to play easily

    World of Goo is…well…it is sort of difficult to explain. World of Goo is a game where you attempt to rescue these living balls by leading them up to a suction port. When they get close to the port, they are sucked in. Unfortunately, there is usually quite a distance between the goo balls and the exit port. So, you attempt to bridge that distance by building towers, bridges…basically anything you can think of. The funny thing is that you build these out of the goo balls.

    Goo balls have the wondrous property where they will form “links” to nearby good balls – which when built in large enough scale will build a scaffolding for whatever you are trying to put together. This scaffolding isn’t completely stable, however, so you need to be careful about having it fall over, sag, or just generally collapse under its own weight.

    This is a very interactive game. The touch controls are essential – you have to guide the goo balls to exactly where you want them to build your structure. Too far and it won’t support itself (it the goo balls will even form links). Too close, and you run out of goo balls before you are finished. This leads me to one of the big problems I had playing the game on the iPhone – the screen was just too small. I had a difficult time fine tuning my movement enough to build really intricate structures. On the iPad (it is a universal binary) it was much easier. Maybe my fingers are just too big.

    There is a background story going on as well, but it isn’t too involved. You just sort of “feel” there is something sinister going on. There are multiple types of goo balls as well. The normal black ones can be used once. White ones can be stretched. Green ones can be re-used. Planning a careful strategy using specific goo balls can be critical in making sure you rescue a sufficient number of goo balls to move to the next level.

    There is no multiplayer version, which is too bad. I could see trying to team up with someone to rescue all the goo balls, or even having a race to the exit to see who can get there first. There is an ambiguous “race to build a tower” using extra goo balls that are rescued, but I never went far enough to see what that was all about.

    All in all, World of Goo HD is a well designed, fun game to play. While it was a little difficult on the iPhone, I found it much better on the iPad. If the price ($4.99) is too high, there is an iPhone only version for $2.99. The graphics, sound effects, and overall feel of the game are great, and the easy game play is simple enough that anyone can pick it up to try. I just wish there was an online or multiplayer aspect to the game. Four out of five stars.

    Rating scale:

    * = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
    ** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
    *** = Some good features but also some clear flaws.
    **** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
    ***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks.

    Price is factored into the ratings. Ratings are lowered if I feel the price of the app outweighs the benefits/enjoyment/features it provides. Likewise, an app that is a good value for the money will have a higher rating. Please comment on these reviews. If you own the app, tell me what your opinion is. If the review prompted you to buy (or not buy) the app, let me know why. If you want more information about the app, go ahead and ask.

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