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Video Game / World of Goo

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The millions of Goo Balls who live in the beautiful World of Goo don't know that they are in a game, or that they are extremely delicious.

World of Goo is an indie Puzzle Game by, essentially, two guys, with some help. In it, the player constructs intricate structures from intelligent globs of goo, with the deceptively simple goal of leading the remaining free members of the swarm to each level's exit pipe. Deceptive, because this two-dimensional world is contrived to put as many highly varied obstacles into your path as possible.

Spun off from the simpler Tower of Goo student project, the gameplay is pushed into an increasing variety of directions by the long string of newfound species of goo, each possessing unique properties to experiment with. The slowly building story is told through a deliberately primitive, child-like art style in the rare cutscenes, and more profusely through the text of helpful signs posted in each level by Your Friend The Mysterious And Enigmatic Sign Painter.


The whole of Chapter 1 is in a free demo for Windows/Mac/Linux. The full version can be found on basically any modern gaming device from the past 8 years, being ported to WiiWare, iOS, Android, the aforementioned Windows, Mac and Linux, and most recently, the Nintendo Switch. A bonus sixth chapter on the Moon was originally planned for retail but never materialized. A whole community of user-made levels and other add-ons can be found at GooFans.

Do not confuse with Word of God, even though it may apply.


Tropes that apply to this Puzzle Game:

  • 20% More Awesome: Tower of Goo Memorial Park and Recreation Center: Now 20% more infinite in all directions.
  • Alertness Blink: The "!" of newly-awakened goo balls.
  • Alice and Bob: "Alice and Bob and the Third Party"
  • Arc Words: 'MOM'
    • "The Last of the Goo Balls"
    • "We're all in this together"
  • Art Shift: Chapter 4.
  • Beast and Beauty: "Beauty and the Electric Tentacle"
  • Bottomless Pits: Present in some levels.
  • But Thou Must!: In Chapter 4, you are asked for confirmation on undeleting all of MOM's junk mail. The two choices are "ok" and "yes."
    • Also, in the same chapter, if you try to get MOM to erase the cookies concerning your personal data, she accepts, then informs you that they may in fact not have been entirely deleted, and... you're back to the beginning of the discussion tree.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The game has off-putting undertones from the get-go, but they get progressively less and less subtle as the game goes on.
  • Chekhov's Gun: At the end of the first world you send a tower of goo with eyeball balloons into the sky. They later appear at the end in space.
  • Color-Coded Characters: It would be difficult to tell the different species of goo apart without this.
  • Cosmetic Award: The very-appropriately named "OCD"note  goals of each level.
  • Cruelty Is the Only Option: Not only the fate of the poor Matchstick Goo balls but levels like "Genetic Sorting Machine" and "Red Carpet"...
  • Cursed with Awesome: "Grape Vine Virus": the benevolent infection.
  • Cut Scene
  • Cyber Space: "Information Superhighway," an entire chapter dedicated to programming jokes and New Media Tropes
  • Dialogue Tree: In very unique, spoiler-y circumstances. Given a fourth-wall-bending Lampshade Hanging.
  • Dem Bones: One species of goo confuses the Sign Painter as to whether they're "alive... or dead. Probably polite to pretend we don't notice." These skull-shaped goo balls are the only species invulnerable to the ubiquitous Spikes of Doom.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: The last level of the Epilogue is titled "Observatory Observation Station".
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The goo is a black, viscous, gooey substance which is crucial to the economy note , kind of like some other black, viscous, gooey substance in real life!
  • Ethereal Choir: One of the songs if you meet MOM and going to World of Goo corporation grounds after chapter IV.
  • Evil vs. Evil: A sinister, polluting, extinction-causing Mega-Corp versus a crazed, identity-stealing spambot.
  • Fun with Acronyms: "Obsessive Completion Distinction" achievements, a.k.a. OCD.
  • Gainax Ending: Every chapter.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: The level where the female goo balls are introduced. Notice the hairy, feminine leg-like structures... now look between them
  • The Ghost: The Sign Painter.
  • In the Style of...:
  • Loading Screen: While loading, the level's title is displayed with a piece of text just long enough for you to read in the brief waiting period. It varies from being descriptive to simply amusing.
    • And on startup, the game offers a series of such technical status updates as 'distilling beauty...', ' debating games as art ' and 'embiggening prototypes...'
  • Malevolent Architecture: Given an early Lampshade Hanging by the Sign Painter in the fourth level.
  • Mega-Corp: The bleak, faceless World Of Goo Corporation.
  • Mission Control Is Off Its Meds: The Sign Painter is a mixture of being insane and, by the end of the game, misleading.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: "New mail!" Cue the World of Goo Corp. exploding due to the flood of emails.
  • New Media Are Evil: Played for Laughs
  • Our Time Travel Is Different: In this case, travel back to undo one move by clicking the Time Bugs.
  • Real Is Brown: Parodied — after updating the "graphics card" in Chapter 4, most of the subsequent levels contain nothing but grays, browns, and bloom.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: Wildly theorized by the Sign Painter, regarding the world's power source.
  • Puzzle Pan: The start of each level usually shows the pipe (or other key elements) before heading to the starting location.
  • Scenery Porn: Can venture into this in some levels.
  • Sequel Hook: The Goo Tower you freed in the final level of Episode 1 flies off towards a planet populated with goo balls.
  • Sequence Breaking: You don't have to burn the man to complete the level. Or sacrifice any of the goo balls in Red Carpet level. Since it's a physics-based game, people have discovered tricks to break some physics in his game to allow players to get way above OCD requirements of some levels.
  • Shareware: The PC demo allows you to play through the entirety of the first chapter with no restrictions imposed, but you will need to actually buy the game to continue on. The Wii demo doesn't count as shareware since you cannot save and it automatically terminates at a certain point.
  • Shout-Out
    • For one, the Puzzle Boss flash game You Have to Burn the Rope is sent up with the sever-the-overhead-support level "You Have To Explode The Head"
    • The introductory text for the fourth level contains a shout-out to Armadillo Run, another indie puzzle game with a similar premise. This borders on a Lampshade Hanging: the sign in that same level mentions an armadillo for no apparent reason.
    • There are also shout-outs to non-games: for instance, the above-mentioned Dialogue Tree includes the classic Glory Days exchange from the film Sunset Boulevard.
    • In one puzzle, you have to start your web from a frog's mouth. Sign Painter suggests that the frog really wanted to shoot balls from his mouth in his own puzzle game.
    • A sign in "Ode to the Bridge-Builder" references the song "O Superman" by Laurie Anderson. Also, Bridge Builder is one of the Chroniclogic's physics-based construction series. ODE is actually a physics engine World Of Goo is largely based on.
    • One of the loading messages is "challenging everything."
    • There's a level called Blustery Day.
    • A number of parallels exist between MOM and Big Brother. Likely not coincidental, given they're both titles for family members.
  • Signpost Tutorial: The signposts scattered around the stages will tell you how the new type of goo works if you encounter one, as well as give hints on how to clear the stage. It's also where most of the story is contained.
  • Sinister Surveillance
  • Speaking Simlish: Subtitled.
  • Spikes of Doom: They're lethal to goo balls, save for one bony species.
  • Sticky Bomb: A species of goo.
  • Story Breadcrumbs: The messages left for you by The Sign Painter and... someone else...
    • The Sign Painter also leaves you a message in the PC version's config file.
  • Take That!: All done in the game's very quirky style of humor. Consumerism, marketing, search engines, ubiquitous surveillance, cultural standards of beauty, they all take some flak.
    • Word of God claims that World Of Goo Corporation is a metaphor for game publishers they had to deal with. Since they're ex-EA employees, it's probably not hard to tell which ones. [1]
    • OCD pretty much mocks the player for trying so hard to get the achievement.
  • Timed Mission: Some OCD requirements require you to complete the level within the time limit. The only stage with an actual time limit is "Super Fuse Challenge Time", which will cause the tower to collapse after the matchstick goo fuse starts demolishing the tower.
  • Trope 2000: The Freedom Scraper 3000 in "Welcoming Unit".
  • Videogame Cruelty Potential: Aside from the necessary sacrifices, there are many times when it's easier to sacrifice a number of goo balls rather than trying to save them all.
    • Videogame Caring Potential: Swinging back around, of course, with the practice of playing a level specifically to save as many Goo balls as possible. By using lots of tricks, you can save much much more of them than intended.
  • Wham Episode: Two particular ones. "Product Launcher", where Product Z is launched and mutates the world into a virtual simulation known as the Information Superhighway. And "Deliverance" which concludes with the end of the world and the destruction of the World of Goo Corporation!


Example of: