If you haven’t yet played World Of Goo, then oh boy have you been missing out. Not only is it a spectacularly fun and creative game with top marks in almost every department, the story of its creation is equally remarkable. The runaway indie success was made by a team of two, yes two, people. Kyle Gabler and Ron Carmel are former Electronic Arts employees who set up their own games studio, which they named 2D Boy. For two years they worked on the game with Gabler having the role of designer, illustrator, composer and game-writer and Carmel bringing it all to life as the developer.
Made on a shoestring
The runaway indie success was made by a team of two, yes two, people. Kyle Gabler and Ron Carmel are former Electronic Arts employees who set up their own games studio, which they named 2D Boy. For two years they worked on the game with Gabler having the role of designer, illustrator, composer and game-writer and Carmel bringing it all to life as the developer. They did not have an office or even a garage to work from, but instead used coffee shops in San Francisco that were equipped with WiFi. They estimate that the total budget for the whole game was $10 000, which includes equipment, food and rent. The money came from personal savings.
The game was released for Windows and the Wii in the third quarter of 2008. A Mac Version followed not much later and a Linux version early in 2009. World of Goo was an immediate success and started reaping praise and rewards. Rock, Paper, Shotgun wrote: “"This isn’t just the small matter of being one of the best games of the year, it’s also the emergence of a stellar new talent in gaming.”
World of Goo for Android was finally released in November 2011 and has made the transition to mobile effortlessly. It currently holds a stellar rating of 4.8 in the App Store.
World of Goo is a physics / puzzle game unlike any other you have played. Basically you must grab jabbering little round balls (“gooballs”) and drop them in the 2D landscape to build structures. Your goal for each level is to get a required number of Gooballs to the exit. To try and describe the gameplay in more detail is pointless, simply go and find out for yourself. The levels are varied and the learning curve is gentle.
The graphics are simple yet beautiful, the sound effects zany and the music utterly gorgeous. Everything meshes together into a perfect whole. There is a weird and wonderful plot which needn’t be described here and the story is told with wit and humour.
For the millions of fans all around the globe, who have been glooping gooballs together since 2008, the question is: will there be a new installment? On this question 2DBoy has remained evasive. Initially they stated that they would not be making a sequel. However, in a November 2010 entry, Gabler apparently said that “a second World of Goo is a possibility and something we would enjoy working on.”
Here’s hoping that it comes. In the meantime, buy World of Goo (it’s worth every cent) on your tablet or mobile and play one of the greatest games to have been made in the last 10 years.