World of Goo 2 might just be the Nintendo Switch’s next must-own co-op game

A built structure in World of Goo 2.
Tomorrow Corporation

When I sat down to demo World of Goo 2 at this year’s GDC, I noted to the developers on hand how surprising it was to see a sequel after so long. “It’s been, what? Ten years?” I said. I was very far off the mark: They noted that the original World of Goo launched in 2008. After playing a few levels (and having an existential crisis over time’s rapid passing), I’d find myself wondering how such an obvious slam dunk didn’t come sooner.

Like its predecessor, World of Goo 2 is a physics-based puzzle game where players craft structures from little, gooey critters. It presents a series of engineering challenges, as poorly built structures will topple under the weight of all those jiggly little pals. Rather than reinventing that concept entirely, World of Goo 2 adds some wild new ideas onto that stable structure that opens up its puzzle potential. The result is a chaotic co-op game that’s a perfect fit for the Nintendo Switch.

A puzzle in World of Goo 2.
Tomorrow Corporation

During my demo, I’d play a handful of levels in a two-player co-op. The control scheme was simple: I’d point my Joy-Con at the TV and use motion controls to pick up and place goo balls. The first level retreaded the basics of the original game, as my partner and I built a shaky tower of slime until it reached an overhanging pipe. We’d quickly get to see that tried-and-true concept grow when the sequel’s new twist came into play: black sludge.

In one level, we’d need to unleash a wave of liquid from a hanging net so it could flow down a twisting maze and wake up some goo balls at the bottom. Next we’d need to create a bridge-like structure to let us carry the liquid across a wide gap. A later puzzle would turn the complexity up even more. My partner and I would need to funnel that sludge into a plant that would spit it out in a long arc. We’d then have to grab the plant and redirect its aim in order to solve a tricky puzzle in which we used the force of the stream to lodge a boulder into a gap and create a safe platform for some goo balls to cross over.

The developers from 2D Boy, who were on hand during the demo, noted that the physics system was what gave them the confidence to make a new sequel. It’s a trick that they felt they couldn’t pull off until this moment using the Switch’s updated hardware. That idea led to some other fun puzzle twists, too. A new white goo ball can soak up pools of sludge, storing it in the junctions between balls. One standout puzzle would have my partner and I creating an intricate structure that was big enough to suck all the goo out of a crevice, unearthing a submerged pipe beneath it.

A big piece of goo in World of Goo 2.
Tomorrow Corporation

There were tons of clever twists to be found in the few levels I played, but it’s the co-op play that really linked them together. By the end of our session, my partner and I found a working rhythm as we talked through structural planning and took turns adding new goo balls to our structures. It’s the kind of multiplayer game perfect for those who want to work together, talking through solutions and laughing when the execution goes south. And with eight-player co-op support, I imagine it’ll make for one heck of a chaotic party game.

Though I’ve only seen a small taste of what World of Goo 2 has to offer, I’m already thankful that 2D Boy finally gave its baby the sequel treatment so many years later. The puzzle formula is still as fun as ever, and there are enough new ideas here that it feels like a true sequel as opposed to some extra DLC levels arriving 16 years late. With the Nintendo Switch’s lifespan potentially starting to wind down, it could be one of the system’s last must-own co-op games.

World of Goo 2 launches for Nintendo Switch and PC on May 23.

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