Saturday, October 18, 2008

Gone all Gooey

I was intrigued at one of Andrew's articles. At first I thought it was half-wake half-dream ramble, but enough made sense to keep reading. In the end I didn't really know what to think, but it made me feel better for reading it. I read it again, then again. I got more and more out of it each time, like reruns through hitchhikers.

I took me a while to realise that it was a kudos piece to an indie game World of Goo, which lead me to nab the demo to see what it was about. An hour later the office was dark. Oops! Time to go home. It played like Bridge builder and Gish combined, but with a whole lot of additional style. I checked when I got home who the creator was because it seemed quite likely it was Chronic Logic finally breaking out. Alas no. Bridge builder will still have a special place in my gaming memory, but we're onto a whole new thing here.

The demo had me hooked, but the tower building challenge would have been enough for me apart from knowing I didn't have enough goo to make the tallest. A $30 outlay seemed a fair deal to really see what the game was like. I'm glad I got it too. I had briefly read some other plaudits for the game (10/10's everywhere), but I'd seen enough to warrant it anyway.

You know what this game reminds me of? Portal. Here you are, caught up in some interesting puzzles where each room seems fresh, then all of a sudden you're in the middle of a story. There's a subtle twist where the "Goo" could mean something entirely different as a Corporation; a world corporation; an evil corporation that bled out the internet with personalized advertising. Man, that brought a smile to my face!

I've raved to Sandy about it during tea time and have literally laughed out loud at certain sections that dragged her over to have a look. I'm pretty sure she'll play it once her Colonization game is over.

After tea there was an agonizing choice. I had the 300 max goobers to build my tower, but there was still more to the story. I tried an idea I had for a 3 pronged tower, but it failed miserably so I headed back into the story. Again like portal, the whole storyline finished up pretty quickly and left me feeling comfortably complete. Well, apart from those couple of OCD's I missed ...

This game out-portalled Portal. The puzzles were fresher each level, the OCDs more devious, the music on the whole was better (but it's hard to go past the closing credits & song of portal) and I loved the art style, it all fits for one smooth inhale. Love it. Now I can't stop thinking about it and it has me blogging away at 1am after finishing it off. Maybe it's tower time?

One thing I must have missed was the hype. I had thought that since it was an indie game it stood to reason that this one wouldn't have come up on my radar much sooner, but there have been people pre-ordering since February. If I can stumble on games like this and enjoy it all the more because it's all new, then I'm turning in my boarding pass for future hype trains.

Oh and now Andrew's post makes even more sense. Fan fiction for an indie game. Who'd a thunk it! (Doh! just remembered Boatmurdered)

And another thing I forgot, no DRM! And it closes immediately on Alt-F4! It's just a pleasure to use.