My World of Goo joyride continues unabated. Since my post yesterday, I've received a handful of messages from readers eager to try the game, but unsure which SKU to purchase. [Notice how using the term "SKU" makes me sound like a game industry insider? I'm ready for my 1UP Show closeup, Mr. DeMille.]
Aside from its obvious charms, World of Goo offers an unusual but welcome assortment of platforms to choose from: Windows, Mac, Linux, and Wii. If you've got to play the game now, Windows and Wii are your only options since the Mac and Linux versions are still in beta. But if you purchase the Windows version, you can download the Mac and Linux versions when they're ready at no extra charge. [Now I sound like a PR rep for 2D Boy - nonsalaried, I assure you!]
So the PC version sounds like a no-brainer, right? Actually, no. If you're looking for the best overall experience playing World of Goo, I strongly recommend the Wii version. Here's my case:
- Display: The only real beef I have with WOG is its fixed 800x600 resolution on PC. If you have a widescreen LCD, you have two options, neither of them optimal. You can restrict your monitor to maintain the aspect ratio and play the game in a small window in the middle of your screen; or you can stretch the image to fit your screen, distorting the graphics in ugly self-defeating ways.
The Wii version runs in the console's native anamorphic widescreen 854x480. You can detect jaggies if you look carefully, but overall the image produced by the Wii version is crisp, colorful, and well-suited to my living room HDTV.
- Control: The Wiimote rarely beats the trusty old mouse as an input device (SimCity Creator is a lesson in fatal mouse-envy), but in the case of WOG it most assuredly does. With the possible exception of Boom Blox, I can't think of a game that makes better use of the Wiimote as a simple point-grab-move controller. It's utterly intuitive, responsive, and elegant. I tried the PC version again this morning for comparison purposes, and I was yearning for my Wiimote within minutes. WOG on Wii = Happy.
- WiiWare: Nothing sends a stronger signal to developers than the cash in your purse or wallet. WiiWare is a great opportunity for small and indie developers to reach the Nintendo audience, but the games on offer have been spotty at best. Buying first-rate games like WOG, Lost Winds, Mega Man 9, and Orbient sends a message that says gamers will support quality WiiWare titles.
- Moolah: World of Goo for the Wii costs $15; the PC version will set you back $20 (granted, with the Linux and Mac versions thrown in).
- Co-op: The Wii version has 2-player cooperative play (which is terrific, by the way, and quite helpful on tough puzzles), and the computer versions don't.
So there you have it. Buy the Wii version...or better yet, buy both for less than the cost of a single boxed game. Oops. There I go shilling for 2D Boy again. And you thought Brainy Gamer had a strict no-ad policy. :P