What’s great when you have preschool-aged kids is that you can experiment with kid-friendly games and get away with it. Our latest addiction to date is World of Goo, which is a physics-based game that is somewhat a cross between Worms and The Incredible Machine–games I loved to play when I was younger (and when computers were much, much slower).
The main objective of the game is to get a requisite number of goo balls to the pipe representing the exit. In order to do so, the player must use their various abilities to build bridges, towers and other structures to overcome gravity and various terrain difficulties such as chasms, hills, spikes or cliffs. Extra Goos recovered in the pipe are pumped through to the World of Goo Corporation, a sandbox area where the objective is to compete with other players worldwide by building the tallest tower possible. Players can also try to achieve the “Obsessive Completion Distinction (OCD) Flag” for each level by completing the level under more stringent criteria, such as collecting a larger number of Goo balls, finishing under a set amount of time or using as few moves as possible.
For small kids, the enjoyment here is seeing all those goo-balls move around in their, well, gooey glory. For us adults, the novelty here is how physics can be so fun. That’s something you don’t see everyday, not unless you’re a physicist perhaps.
The game even has an online aspect to it, where you can submit your scores and pit yourself against other World of Goo players around the world.
World of Goo is originally a Wii release, but it is also available for Windows and Mac. You can download a demo version and get yourself some good ol’ physics fun. Just be sure to wash all that goo off your hands after playing! This game sure results in sweaty palms from all the fun.