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The classic game: World of Goo

A game where you won’t want everything to come unstuck, lest your carefully crafted constructions collapse in a heap

Many games merely make up the numbers. A precious few become part of history. In this latest entry in our series on classic iPhone and iPad games, we take a look at a title that made you empathize with blobs of goo.

This is all perfectly normal

What is World of Goo?

At its core, World of Goo is a physics-based puzzle game, where you use Goo Balls to build structures that lead to a pipe. Successful construction allows any remaining balls to be sucked up to ‘Goo Heaven.’

You might think that sounds at odds with the game’s more sterile contemporaries – and you’d be right. World of Goo might share mechanics with other puzzlers, but the game is packed full of enough imagination, smarts and heart to fill entire days with gaming joy.

Why is it a classic?

Everything. Seriously. Let’s start with the imaginative visuals, which appear to have arrived fully formed from the deranged mind of an unhinged animator. Then there’s the score, which effortlessly shifts between breezy upbeat numbers to moody ambience, depending on the nature of the level. And then there’s the gameplay, which doesn’t put a foot (or Goo Ball stalk) wrong.

Although the title began life on PCs, it came alive on the touchscreen, with you being able to directly manipulate your constructions. Throw in varied challenges and hazards – and an engaging slice of narrative – and you’ve one of the finest games to grace the App Store during its formative years.

Where is it now?

World of Goo is still available on the App Store, although it’s sadly not been updated since 2017. This means there’s no iCloud sync (so start on the device you mean to continue on) and the game plays in bordered form on modern devices – not ideal on iPhone, but it still proves sticky (in the good sense) on iPad.

Get World of Goo ($4.99/£4.49) from the App Store.