Insert Credit endeavors to suss out where you should be allotting your video game allowance, sifting out a single title from many and crowning it as The One Game You Need to Get This Week. Don’t consider these reviews, gentle reader. Rather, think of Insert Credit as a mix of hands-on time, informed opinion and intuition.
For the week of December 22, 2010, you should insert credit into: “World of Goo” for iPad.
Sometimes, technology gives you things that you didn’t know you wanted. Whether it’s telephone in a car, glasses that turn into shades when it’s too bright out or a tear-free way to chop onions, unexpected advancements often enhances things we take for granted in all-new ways.
Case in point this week: “World of Goo.” 2D Boy’s beloved indie game just notched a two-year anniversary, with successful initial releases for Windows and Mac. The architectural puzzler later went on to become downloadable on Nintendo’s WiiWare hub. The goal is to move cute globs of goo through hazard-filled levels by building structures like those of an erector set using the gooey essences of your little charges.
At every turn, players have been controlling the game with input devices like a mouse or a Wii remote. But the two-man development studio’s spent the last few months adapting their game to Apple’s uber-popular tablet, where control is literally at your fingertips. It’s tough to tell whether the iPad feels like it was made for “World of Goo” or “World of Goo” was made for the iPad but rarely has the pairing of game and device felt so right. Much of what pulls you in with “World of Goo” is the Goo Balls themselves. They’re like little gelatinous naifs, cooing and yelping as you build them into their own salvation. What the iPad version of the game gives you is a direct connection to the Goo Balls, creating an even deeper emotional incentive to keep on playing. The beautiful improvisatory quality of the game is still there, as well as the challenging difficulty. But, thanks to an impressive effort, “World of Goo” feels better than ever before. Its $9.99 asking price may be steep in the land of .99 apps, but “World of Goo” is worth every penny.