World of Goo (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Adam Riley 25.03.2017 1

Review for World of Goo on Nintendo Switch

Back when Kyle Gabler's Tower of Goo was transformed from a basic tower-building pet project to a fully-fledged puzzle masterpiece on Nintendo's Wii download service, WiiWare, it was hailed as revolutionary. Not only did the newly named World of Goo take a simple concept of attaching blobs to each other to form large structures and solve crafty conundrums, it utilised the technology of the Wii Remote perfectly to make the process of connecting numerous goo balls together that much easier and, most importantly, accessible to that wider audience Wii was attracting back then. It was wondrous in that form, worked very well indeed on PC with a mouse, and adapted itself to touch-screen mobile devices very smartly. How about now on Nintendo Switch, though? After more than a decade, does it feel just as good and is the charm still there?

Guess what, folks? Wii Remote controls are back in play! What else? So are the touch-screen controls from the iOS and Android versions! World of Goo is basically the ultimate package in that regard, bringing together all the best elements. Okay, so sadly there are no new levels, meaning that anyone that played this back in 2008 on WiiWare, dabbled in some PC action, or went mobile with it, will not be finding new stages on offer, but does that ruin what is already a stunning game? No, it certainly does not. Perhaps it will deter people from double-dipping, but then again it has been about four years since the iOS iteration got any update, and it was on Wii nearly 10 years ago, so it is great to see the classic getting a new lease of life via Nintendo Switch in whatever way possible.

Also, 2D Boy and Tomorrow Corporation have not just done a quick copy/paste job, instead working together to include some treats for Switch owners, such as a two-player option, making use of both Joy-Con, as well as unlocking the full soundtrack via the title menu right from the start. On the controls side, most people will be more than happy using the Switch in tablet mode, rather like in VOEZ, holding it in one hand, sliding their finger of choice on the other hand around to drag-and-drop the varying balls of goo into the required places, or having the Switch flat on a table and touching away to their heart's content. Some, though, will want to play on the big screen or using the screen's kickstand, at which point the Joy-Con gyroscope cleverly comes into play when sliding the controllers off the sides of the screen.

Screenshot for World of Goo on Nintendo Switch

Recognising that you wish to use the controller(s), the game asks that the Joy-Con be left on a stable surface to settle the gyro, then pick up and press the + or - minus button to centre the cursor on-screen. Basically, wherever the controller is pointed does not matter - simply find a holding position most personally comfortable and click to centre the on-screen pointer and carry on. The gyro will gradually go out of sync during a stage, but with it so quick and easy to re-centre, a quick tap of the appropriate button when necessary barely impacts upon play, unless in the most hectic of situations, and in that instance it is the technology at hand, rather than the game that is to blame. Again, though, it only takes a split second to recalibrate, so will not be too troublesome at all.

Use just the one controller for normal single-player or, when activating both Joy-Con, up pops another cursor on-screen to allow for collaborative play (or destructive, if wanting to frustrate the other person!). As with Snipperclips: Cut it Out, Together!, though, choose your play partner wisely or else there could be some major arguments when things go terribly wrong because of one foolish mistake on the part of the second player! If patient with each other, then it is a great feature, especially on stages where there is somewhat of a time limit in play due to moving parts around a level; having that extra pair of eyes and on-screen pointer to swiftly move the different goo types around is invaluable.

Screenshot for World of Goo on Nintendo Switch

There are regular black blobs that can only connect once before being ruled out of play, flammable ones that trigger chain reaction fires when dangling near flames, spiky versions that can stick to surfaces and carry objects around, blobs that can be constantly attached and detached, and many others, some of which make regular appearances throughout, others that have fleeting moments of glory during the four main chapters and epilogue. There is a dark tale that runs throughout, focusing on the World of Goo Corporation, and although puzzlers never really need a tale to tie things together, the warped nature of this world-changing entity, and the clues of how to overpower it left behind by 'The Sign Painter' make proceedings all the more intriguing, augmenting the already dark atmosphere that pours out of World of Goo thanks to its unusual graphical style and mix of eerie theme park and gloomy/moody music. The reason this all stands the test of time so well is because of the care and attention that was put into it in the first place. Every element has been carefully pieced together to perfection.

Take the physics, for instance; a lack of realistic physics in a title and people complain it is not to their liking, yet throw in highly accurate physics, as in World of Goo, and sometimes it will leave players cursing repeatedly. However, this is such a genius creation, filled to the brim with inventive uses of the core theme. Create bridges across gaps, carefully locking the initial foundation in place so it does not topple over due to a poor centre of gravity; stretch downwards to wake up extra balls and then start climbing back up to the stage's goal (a large suction pipe); use balloons to lift obstacles out of the way, and then re-attached them quickly to blob structures to float them around, more often than not avoiding spikes along the way; build up and up and up, taking into consideration the direction of wind gusts trying to blow the tower over; wedge goo structures against adjacent walls and constantly build/rebuild to 'walk' the block of blobs upwards; use moving parts to drag and roll goo balls further along a stage than it looks initially possible; and the list goes on. Many levels have to be seen to be believed - the imagination that has gone into World of Goo beggars belief, and that is why even today this is one of the most impressive puzzlers out there.

Screenshot for World of Goo on Nintendo Switch

What else is there to say? Well, some may feel that four and a bit chapters is not much, and given how there is the ability to skip tough stages and still progress means that some will choose to breeze through to the end very quickly. However, going back and finishing every level will take days, and going back to then beat the "OCD" (Obsessive Completion Distinction) challenges will probably drive most people nuts for months and months to come. It is great that there is so much packed in, though, and even at the UK price of £8.99, there is enough content to justify the cost, despite this being such an old title. There will definitely be many that either only sampled it in the past, or completely missed it since despite Wii's popularity the WiiWare service was not quite as popular.

Are there any issues of note? Well, no, not especially - only a few "would be nice" features. During the review process, for example, there were no other towers of goo visible in the background in the "World of Goo Corporation" sandbox mode where extra goo balls collected during the main puzzles are stored and can be used to build the largest structure possible. In the WiiWare version, it was great seeing others' creations and comparing to your own, so whether or not it is too early in the day in terms of userbase to see anything, or whether this feature simply has not been added yet, is unknown. Still, for now, there is the treat of various wacky signs appearing the higher your tower gets.

Two other points worth mentioning are that in tablet mode, those playing with the Joy-Con still attached, to save constantly sliding them on and off, will quickly realise all controls other than touch are disabled, meaning there is no ability to pan around a stage using an analogue stick / face buttons with one hand, whilst dragging/dropping goo blobs with a finger on the other hand. The second point is on the soundtrack screen, there is no ability the drag the progress slider back and forth - it is a case of start a track and listen all the way through, or just stop it and start from the beginning. Neither control matter has a detrimental effect on the game in any way, but would certainly be great features to include in any impending patch releases, and have already been noted to Tomorrow Corporation.

Screenshot for World of Goo on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

Nothing has changed here - this is still the same fantastic World of Goo that was so loved back on WiiWare, and now comes with the handy feature of including not only motion controls from the Wii version, but touch input from the mobile edition, as well as a great two-player feature and instant access to the atmospheric soundtrack. The core puzzles are as dastardly as ever, and feel just as fresh as they ever did, with numerous ways to solve them…and numerous ways to epically fail! Highly challenging, highly addictive, and, more than ever, leaving a thirst for a true sequel, World of Goo is a must for any Nintendo Switch owner.

Developer

2D Boy

Publisher

Tomorrow Corporation

Genre

Puzzle

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

I'm still finding this to be quite addictive, especially trying to hit the OCD challenge targets.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

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