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Merry-Goo-Round: Tower of Goo Friday, March 31st, 2006 by Matthew Tower of Goo by Kyle Gabler is a product of the inaugural Experimental Gameplay Project. Kyle was a member of the first group of Carnegie Mellon University students. Since then, the project has grown—expanding in scope past the Entertainment Technology Center—but Tower of Goo is still a seminal example of the program’s success [pun intended]. Structural Integrity…Failing! Tower of Goo is best described as Bridge Builder in real-time. The little blobs of goo crawling around your tower can be picked up and dropped as supports. Clicking on a piece of goo and dragging it around will highlight available locations: either as one span between two existing points, or two spans for a new point connecting two existing points. It makes a lot more sense when you see it in action—check the video.Like many of the Experimental Gameplay Project games, there is no explicit goal in Tower of Goo. Implicitly, however, the goal is to build up. The game’s sole bit of statistical feedback is how tall your tower is. When you reach new heights, a happy bit of text appears as reward. Blue Team, Goo! What’s great about Tower of Goo is that the little blob guys, your resources, aren’t static. They actively climb around the tower trying to reach the highest point. Their weight will actually affect the tower, too, so if they all climb to one side of the tower you may need to quickly counteract by adding some weight to the other side. If your tower starts to significantly fall, you’re usually screwed; maybe some quick repair on the weak side will fix it. Maybe. Usually not, and everything comes crashing to the ground. No worries, though—you simply keep building from where things lay. There’s no timer and no game-imposed punishments. Multiple Play Styles The real-time nature of Tower of Goo supports multiple play styles. One player can choose to build slowly and carefully, making sure everything is stable before expanding. Or, and this is how I usually play, one can play very quickly. Careful placement isn’t as important as growing your structure as fast as possible. Of course, this typically results in a catastrophic failure of the tower at some point. But hey—that’s most of the fun. It’s Goo Time The original Tower of Goo took four days of Kyle’s time to develop. Since then, he’s released Tower of Goo Unlimited which enables unlimited vertical/horizontal expansion. It’s remarkably fun to play with, although without the meta structure of game goals on top of the mechanic it will get a little old. Still, it’s a small download and it’s totally free. Why aren’t you playing it already?Download Tower of Goo Unlimited here (2.32 MB), or head over to the Experimental Gameplay Project website for more information.
Same game, but now infinite in all directions! (If you've never played before, you should check the original below..) Thanks for your feedback and suggestions! IMPORTANT NOTE if you are wondering how this relates to World of Goo. I made this short prototype "Tower of Goo" several years ago as an experiment in just a few days. It's buggy and doesn't even run on some computers! So please don't think it's representative of World of Goo.
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