World of Goo

In the post ‘Analysis: World of Goo’s iPad Launch’ on the 2D Boy blog, Kyle Gabler and Ron Carmel stated a belief that World of Goo for iPad was “the Definitive Version”. Obviously, I’m far less informed about the game than it’s developers; I have only played the game on the Wii. That said, I believe the Wii version has a unique advantage.

The iPad is primarily a personal device, a very personal computer (from Jean-Louis Gassée on Monday Note). If you play World of Goo on an iPad, you’re probably playing on your own. Maybe a second person can try to fit around the device, but you’re going to get in each other’s way. I bet you’ll end up playing on your own, and there’s no doubt it will still be tremendously fun.

On the other hand, televisions can be social: lots of people can gather around the TV for a shared experience. I believe this property of the living room TV is exploited by video games better than anything else.

World of Goo for Wii takes this potential and runs with it. Extra people can do more than watch the game: by picking up a second, third or fourth Wii remote, new players can be added with zero configuration. Dropping out is equally easy: just put the controller down. There is no need to open a menu to add or remove players. The game is more fun for everyone with collaboration; the total enjoyment derived is more than four times as great.