I finished the final levels of World of Goo over lunch today. It's a truly excellent and more fun than you'd think game. It takes the basic premise of a bridge building game, but instead of boring old planks and rivets, here you're building with goo. The goo is lovely stuff, able to form connections with other goo balls (the number of connections depends on the variety of goo) and form (semi-) rigid structures. These structures very rarely stay still, they're constantly jiggling about as you add more connections to them, or as the unused goo balls travel along the structure, or simply as the wind blows across the level. You have to build structures to reach the exit pipe on the level where all of the remaining unused goo on the structure will be sucked up. You need to save a requisite amount of goo balls per level. And that's basically it. The beauty of the game abounds in the charming graphics and sound, but the heart of what makes this so fun is the amount of ideas packed into it. It may be slightly odd to compare this game to Mario, but there's a similar sense of inventive and impish fun running through every level. New ideas arrive every level or two and then are discarded as even more new stuff comes in. The game is constantly kept fresh with new goo balls or new ways of building or new methods of control. Levels are rarely as simple as 'build a bridge from a to b', even though that's essentially what you're doing every time. There's also a great deal of humour in the game, from the strange signposts that introduce each level and give insights into the goings on, to the bizarre backstory that frames the game. I've no idea what was really going on in the story, but it was glorious nonetheless. The game was also perfectly suited to my style of play, with each level only taking a few minutes so it was easy to drop in and drop out. I can't recommend it enough - it's fabulous. I even managed to get Max playing it by persuading the powers that be that it was educational (well...it is!). One of the best games I've played in a while. If I had nothing better to do then I'd happily try and get all of the OCD challenges for every level, but I'm afraid that's not going to happen in this lifetime. Onwards!
Next up on the randometer is...Impire! Another modern-ish game on Steam. This one looks a bit like a remake of Dungeon Keeper. Bizarrely, I've never played Dungeon Keeper (other than a demo), so I'm not really sure what to expect. I think I'll hit Tomb Raider 2 properly first. I've progressed through a few more levels, but there's still a lot more game to go. It's still fun, but it's no TR1.