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World of Goo

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World of Goo is a puzzle game with a strong emphasis on physics, for WiiWare, Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux (x86 and x86-64[5]) by 2D Boy, an independent game developer consisting of Kyle Gabler and Ron Carmel, both former Electronic Arts employees.[3][6] It was nominated for the Seumas McNally grand prize, Design Innovation Award and Technical Excellence at the Independent Games Festival.[7]




The game is built around the idea of creating large structures using balls of goo.[8] The game is divided into five chapters, each containing several levels. Each level has its own graphic and musical theme, giving it unique atmosphere,[6] similar in style to Tim Burton's film designs.[9] There is also a bonus meta-game called World of Goo Corporation, where the objective is to build the highest tower using goo balls which the player collected through the course of the game. Players from all over the world can compete, as the height of the tower and number of goo balls used are being constantly uploaded to the 2D Boy server.


The main objective of the game is to get a requisite number of goo balls to a pipe representing the exit. In order to do so, the player must use the goo balls to construct bridges, towers, and other structures to overcome gravity and various terrain difficulties such as chasms, hills, spikes, or cliffs. There are several types of goo balls in the game, each of which has unique properties. The player must exploit combinations of these goo balls in order to complete each level. Extra goos recovered in the pipe are pumped through to the World of Goo Corporation, a sandbox area where the objective is to compete with other players worldwide by building the tallest tower possible.[10] Players can also try to achieve the "Obsessive Completion Distinction Flag" for each level by completing the level under more stringent criteria,[11] such as collecting a larger number of Goo balls, finishing under a set amount of time or using as few moves as possible.

Levels and chapters in the game are interspersed with cut scenes.

The WiiWare version includes multiplayer with up to four people on the same Wii. This facility is also available, albeit unsupported, in the Linux port.[12]


World of Goo is split up into five chapters, each containing a number of levels. The chapters are set over the course of one year in the World of Goo. Each chapter takes place over one season, beginning in the start of summer, and ending at the end of spring the next year.

An additional chapter selectable from the main menu is the World of Goo Corporation. Goos collected above and beyond the required amount to pass a level are piped out of each of the played levels to here. Starting from just a single triangle of Goo, the aim is to build the highest possible tower. The Goos in the World of Goo Corporation are unique in that they can be repositioned like Green Goo but are black and can only form two connections at once like Black Goo.

In the World of Goo Corporation, towers built by other players of the game are represented by clouds bearing the player's name, nationality and height of the tower, including details on the total number of balls collected by the player and how many were used in constructing their tower. The altitude of each cloud represents the height of that player's tower. An online leaderboard charts the heights of the top 50 towers, as well as the top 10 players for each level of the game.

There are a total of 48 levels in the game, including World of Goo Corporation.

In an interview the developers stated that the retail version released in Europe would receive an additional sixth chapter, set on the Moon.[13] Few details were disclosed, but reportedly this chapter would have featured a freeform sandbox mode, similar to that of the World of Goo Corporation. This addition was, however, canceled for Wii when 2D Boy announced they were releasing the game on WiiWare in Europe.[14]


The story is told primarily through the aforementioned cut scenes and signs encountered throughout the game, which were left by a mysterious figure known as the Sign Painter.

In the first chapter, pipes appear throughout the land, waking up many sleeping Goo Balls who have gone undisturbed until this, as they are filled with a childlike sense of curiosity and naivety they build themselves towards the pipes. Upon reaching the pipe entrance, the Goo Balls are sucked by the pipe system into the World of Goo Corporation main building where they are processed into many products, most prominently a drink. The excess Goo Balls are left outside the Corporation headquarters where they begin to build a giant tower. At the end of the first chapter, a few Green Goo escape from the Corporation building by attaching themselves to eyeballs which have the ability to float. The chapter ends with the Goo Balls "seeing far away new lands".

In the second chapter, more pipes appear in a very windy desert where a giant power plant is located. However, during the past, the location and appearance of the plant was forgotten because it stopped producing energy. A new Goo Ball is introduced, which is ground up by the Corporation into a beauty cream. Near the end of the chapter the power plant, which looks like a giant woman, is discovered. It turns out that the power plant "ran on beauty" which is (according to the game) a highly reactive chemical like gasoline or turpentine. After some of the Beauty Goo are injected into it, it becomes operational again, allowing the Corporation to open up a new factory in the south.

During the third chapter it is said that the Corporation develops a mysterious "Product Z". It eventually turns out that the mysterious Product Z is actually the third dimension (Product Z is the z-axis in mathematics). This causes much commotion amongst the general population who cannot see where anything is now. World of Goo Corporation tells them to contact tech support in the Information Superhighway after being rendered "incompatible with the world".

In the fourth chapter the Goo Balls are set out to find the mysterious "MOM" program amongst a vector style environment. Shortly after the beginning the Goo Balls find the object responsible for rendering the graphics. After pumping many of their own kind into the object the graphics render improves, creating a more realistic environment in the level Road Blocks (and the introduction of Block Goo. Near the end they encounter the MOM program who/which turns out to be a spam bot. The Goo Balls decide to overload Product Z by sending every message in the history of spam to everyone at the World of Goo Corporation. After venturing to the recycle bin and un-deleting everything, the Corporation headquarters explodes, shutting down Product Z while creating a massive layer of smog that envelops the entire world.

In the Epilogue, the remaining "scientifically pure" Goo Balls are sucked away to the ruins of the Corporation's Headquarters. The final level of the game reveals that the Goo Balls are now completely extinct, all the remaining having been sucked away to the remains of the World of Goo Corporation and added to the tower, and the massive telescope at the site has been rendered useless as it cannot see past the layer of smog. The Sign Painter reveals in his final sign that he has now become the Telescope Operator. Some fish in the water connect to the telescope and pull it out of the ground, where it passes the layer of smog and sees the tower of Goo that has been built at the former World of Goo Corporation Headquarters, which can also see past the smog. The telescope falls back to the ground before it can see what the Goo Balls were building towards. However, the camera pans up into space to reveal that the Goo Balls that escaped at the end of chapter one have managed to reach a far-off planet populated entirely by Goo Balls.

An additional chapter was initially planned for the European retail version of the game, located on the Moon; however such plans have been abandoned because 2D Boy did not increase the price of the game for some, to make available the new chapter at the same time for all.[15] It may be released later.


File:Ron Carmel and Kyle Gabler.jpg

World of Goo was imagined by two ex-Electronic Arts developers, Kyle Gabler and Ron Carmel. Their game studio, 2D Boy, was essentially based out of whatever Wi-Fi enabled coffee shop they could find. The developers estimate spending about $10,000 of their personal savings to develop World of Goo which includes rent, food, and minimal equipment. The two developers attribute the game's success to their blog and early web presence, as well as the awards it won at the Independent Games Festival at the Game Developers Conference in 2007, causing publishers who did not respond to their requests now wanting to publish the title.[16]

On March 3, 2009, 2D Boy announced that users who pre-ordered World of Goo would get a "Profanity Pack" at some point after release, which would "[replace] the normal voices in the game with naughty words." [17] But as of August 2010, the profanity pack has yet to surface.

The developers used many open-source technologies such as Simple DirectMedia Layer, Open Dynamics Engine for physics simulation, and TinyXML for configuration files. Subversion and Mantis Bug Tracker were used for work coordination.[3] The proprietary PopCap Games Framework is used for font generation. The game was created by a very small team, with only three members at its peak.[18]

The developers depended upon the community to translate the game into Dutch, French, German, Italian and Spanish for the EU release in December 2008.[19] It is also available in Polish in Poland. In a post on 2D Boy's blog, the game's developer estimated that due to piracy, only one out of every ten copies of the PC version of World of Goo had been legitimately purchased. [20]

World of Goo was released for the Wii's WiiWare service in North America on 13 October 2008.[21] On 11 November 2008, 2D Boy announced that World of Goo would be released as WiiWare in Europe in lieu of a retail release.[22] During the 2009 D.I.C.E. Summit, Nintendo announced that it would publish World of Goo in Japan during the second quarter of 2009;[23] the game was released on 21 April 2009 under the title Planet of Goo (グーの惑星 Gū no Wakusei?).[24] On 24 March 2009, it was announced that World of Goo would be part of the MacHeist III bundle. On 13 October 2009, the first anniversary of the game's release, 2D Boy announced a one-week offer (which was later extended until 25 October 2009) on their blog where people could pay whatever amount they liked to buy the game. They also posted the results of this sale on their blog where 22% of buyers paid only to support the Pay-What-You-Want model.[25] A demo version of the WiiWare version was released on November 20, 2009. After celebrating World of Goo's first birthday, they announced on their blog that an iOS version was in the works.


The World of Goo soundtrack was created by Kyle Gabler, who also designed, wrote and illustrated the game. It was released as a free download on 20 January 2009.[26]

The song "World of Goo Beginning" was created with the intention of resembling Libertango by Astor Piazzolla.[26] "Regurgitation Pumping Station" was originally written for a friend's short film about going on a date with the devil.[26] "Threadcutter" was originally written for a game called Blow which Gabler made available on his site.[26] "Rain Rain Windy Windy" was originally written for the soundtrack for a short children's film, commenting that writing children's music is difficult.[26] "Jelly" was originally written for a short film about a virtual reality world.[26] "Burning Man" was written for a friend's drama/mystery series. He made it by recording two friends singing single notes, and then using a keyboard to make it sound like a choir.[26] "Cog in the Machine" was originally written for another game of his called Robot and the Cities who Built Him.[26]


Both Wii and Windows versions of World of Goo received critical acclaim, holding an aggregate score from Metacritic of 94/100[27] and 91/100[28] respectively. On GameRankings, it holds an aggregate score of 91% for the PC.[29] Eurogamer called World of Goo "Physics' latest, purest, and most brilliant gift."[30] IGN said of the Wii version "World of Goo is an amazing WiiWare game that you simply must buy for this is exactly the type of software that needs both recognition and support", finding only minor fault with the camera controls and lack of a level editor.[18] WiiWare World gave the game 10/10, saying "Not only is World of Goo easily the best WiiWare release to date, it's also proof that you don't need a large development team or millions of dollars to create an outstanding video game."[31] said "World of Goo isn't "just" anything—except, that is, one of just a handful of truly excellent original games for the Wii."[32] Nintendo World Report criticized the "slow start" of the game, but otherwise praised it as "easily the best WiiWare game to date and, perhaps, one of the best this generation."[33] Resolution Magazine referred to it as "an instant classic," awarding it 90%.[34] Official Nintendo Magazine awarded the Wii version a score of 95%, claiming it to be "Virtually flawless".[35]

World of Goo has won many awards. It won Best Independent Game from the Spike TV Video Game Awards show,[36] and won six Wii-specific awards and one for the PC, including Best Puzzle Game (for both Wii[37] and PC[38]), Best Artistic Design,[39] Best WiiWare Game,[40] Best New IP,[41] Most Innovative Design,[42] and Game of the Year from IGN.[43] GameSpot awarded it as the Best Game No One Played.[44] It was featured in Eurogamer's top 50 games of 2008 in the tenth slot.[45] Peter Moore, the head of EA Sports, in a rant about FIFA 09 being missing from Eurogamer's list, commented that he was surprised World of Goo was included up so high in the list, despite not having played it.[46] 2D Boy responded by saying they were honored that World of Goo had this much mainstream awareness, and that it derives sick pleasure from the "industry big-wig's indignant, self-righteous incredulity".[47]


2D Boy have stated that they will not be producing a sequel.[48] However, the community has already developed tools to expand the game, with a number of new levels and mods released.[49]


  1. 1.0 1.1
  2. World of Goo Linux Version is Ready!..
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Murphy, Patrick (2007-12-31). Road To The IGF: World Of Goo's 'Suggested Emotional Journey' To Wii. Retrieved on 2008-10-13.
  4. Macarthy, Andrew (2008-04-01). World of Goo switches from Wii to WiiWare. Nintendic..
  6. 6.0 6.1 Gillen, Kieron (2008-01-16). World of Goo First Impressions. EuroGamer. Eurogamer Network..
  7. 2008 Independent Games Festival Winners. Independent Games Festival. Think Services..
  8. Bardinelli, John (2007-03-05). Tower of Goo evolves into World of Goo, 2D Boy is born. Joystiq. Weblogs, Inc..
  9. Blyth, Jon (2008-10-02). World of Goo. Eurogamer. Retrieved on 2009-04-03.
  10. Shea, Cam (2008-01-22). World of Goo Preview. IGN PC. IGN Entertainment..
  11. Gabler, Kyle (2008-08-14). Leipzig! And some mini-goo updates. 2D Boy Blog. 2D Boy. Retrieved on 2009-04-15.
  12. How do I use more than one mouse?. Retrieved on 2009-05-02.
  13. Calvert, Darrent. 2D Boy Interview - World Of Goo. WiiWare World..
  14. world of goo coming to wiiware in europe!. 2D Boy Blog. 2D Boy (2008-11-11)..
  15. 2D Boy Interview – Part One. The Reticule (2008-12-24). Retrieved on 2010-05-30.
  16. How the World of Goo became one of the indie video game hits of 2008. Venture Beat (2009-01-02). Retrieved on 2009-01-10.
  17. World of Goo preorders give you taste of game, "profanity pack". arsTechnica (2010-08-08). Retrieved on 2010-08-08.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Casamassina, Matt (2008-10-10). World of Goo Review. IGN Wii. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved on 2008-10-13.
  19. Gabler, Kyle (2008-12-01). World of Goo translation for EU release. 2D Boy. Retrieved on 2008-12-07.
  20. 90%. 2D Boy Blog. 2D Boy (2008-11-13). Retrieved on 2009-01-29.
  21. Two WiiWare Games and Two Virtual Console Games Added to Wii Shop Channel. Nintendo (2008-10-13). Retrieved on 2008-10-16.
  22. World of Goo Coming to WiiWare in Europe!. WiiWare World (2008-11-11). Retrieved on 2008-10-18.
  23. Harris, Craig (2009-02-20). DICE 2009: Nintendo to Publish World of Goo. IGN Wii. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved on 2009-02-27.
  25. 2DBoy's Pay What You Want Experiment Results..
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 26.3 26.4 26.5 26.6 26.7 Music from World of Goo. Kyle Gabler. Retrieved on 2009-01-20.
  27. Metacritic: World of Goo for Wii (2008-12-11). Retrieved on 2008-12-11.
  28. Metacritic: World of Goo for PC (2008-12-11). Retrieved on 2008-12-11.
  29. World of Goo Reviews (2008-10-25)..
  30. Blyth, Jon (2008-10-02). World of Goo Review. Eurogamer. Eurogamer Network Ltd.. Retrieved on 2008-10-13.
  31. Dillard, Corbie (2008-10-13). World of Goo (WiiWare) Review. WiiWare World. Retrieved on 2008-10-13.
  32. Hayward, Andrew (2008-10-16). World of Goo Review. Retrieved on 2009-04-02.
  33. DiMola, Nick (2008-10-17). Wii Review: World of Goo. Nintendo World Report. Retrieved on 2008-10-17.
  34. Jones, Graham (2009-02-02). WiiWare Review: World of Goo. Resolution Magazine. Retrieved on 2009-02-04.
  35. Official Nintendo Magazine, Issue 38, p.95
  36. Best Independent Game Fueled by Dew. Retrieved on 2008-12-18.
  37. IGN Wii: Best Puzzle Game 2008. Best of 2008 Awards. IGN Entertainment (2008-12-18). Retrieved on 2008-12-18.
  38. IGN PC: Best Puzzle Game 2008. Best of 2008 Awards. IGN Entertainment (2008-12-18). Retrieved on 2008-12-18.
  39. IGN Wii: Best Artistic Design 2008. Best of 2008 Awards. IGN Entertainment (2008-12-18). Retrieved on 2008-12-18.
  40. IGN Wii: Best WiiWare Game 2008. Best of 2008 Awards. IGN Entertainment (2008-12-18). Retrieved on 2008-12-18.
  41. IGN Wii: Best New IP 2008. Best of 2008 Awards. IGN Entertainment (2008-12-18). Retrieved on 2008-12-18.
  42. IGN Wii: Most Innovative Design 2008. Best of 2008 Awards. IGN Entertainment (2008-12-18). Retrieved on 2008-12-18.
  43. IGN Wii: Game of the Year 2008. Best of 2008 Awards. IGN Entertainment (2008-12-18). Retrieved on 2008-12-18.
  44. Best Game No One Played. Best of 2008. GameSpot (2008-12-23). Retrieved on 2008-12-28.
  45. Eurogamer's Top 50 Games of 2008: 10-1. Eurogamer (2008-12-30). Retrieved on 2009-01-07.
  46. Moore, Peter (2008-12-31). WTF? (Where The hell is FIFA 09?). Peter Moore's Official Blog. Electronic Arts. Retrieved on 2009-01-07.
  47. peter moore hasn’t played world of goo, looks down at it anyway. 2D Boy Blog. 2D Boy (2009-01-05). Retrieved on 2009-01-07.
  48. Hinkle, David (2008-11-12). Wii Fanboy interviews 2D Boy (World of Goo). Joystiq. Weblogs, Inc..
  49. GooFans: Levels and mods for the World of Goo. Retrieved on 2009-05-02.

External links

ar:ورلد أوف جووfr:World of Goo ko:월드 오브 구hu:World of Goo arz:عالم جوو ja:グーの惑星 nn:World of Goopt:World of Goosq:World of Goo sv:World of Goo uk:World of Goo

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