Review Summary: An ode to goo.
For years now, most forms of art have had a significant amount of indie contribution; with music being the most notable, people have been able to independently create and publish everything from literature to film to various forms of artwork. With video games, however, only recently has the technology been available to contribute a significant product. While fan-made content has been around forever (with mods and patches and the like), full-fledged games that give big-budget products a run for their money has only been around for a couple of years. World of Goo
, published by a duo under the name of 2D Boy, recently has been one of those flagship indie games. Gaining rave reviews across the board in the video game world, World of Goo
features addictive game play, stylized graphics, and probably most importantly of all, an engaging soundtrack.
I’ve always been a fan of video game music, so what put World of Goo
over the top for me was the game’s stellar soundtrack. Kyle Gabler, who also did a chunk of the designing and programming for the game, didn’t treat the music as an afterthought: the title card number, “World of Goo Beginning”, sounds like something from Danny Elfman, with a galloping number featuring brisk horns, a choir and strings that immediately establishes a feeling of excitement. “Brave Adventures” is the game’s main theme, predominately featuring a marching beat and a trumpet, and it goes along beautifully with the game’s slick, bold graphics. All of “Another Mysterious Pipe Appeared”, “Burning Man” and “Screamer” capture a more menacing feeling when the game’s levels enter a hellish, fire-and-brimstone setting, while “Jelly”, one of my favourite pieces of the soundtrack, beautifully captures the mood of the game’s dreary rain settings. There are a lot of different pieces to go with a lot of different moods that the game’s levels provide, which makes the soundtrack a very diverse and very stirring offering.
But like most soundtracks, some pieces are enjoyed more with the intended product than just being listened to by themselves. “Regurgitation Pumping Station,” for example, starts with a smooth, jazzy bassline before speeding up unexpectedly into a more funky number. The song continues to go back and forth between these styles, and the constant switches seem a little nauseating without the distraction of playing the game. The same kind of problem exists for “Red Carpet Extend-o-Matic”, which is really a quirky, bizarre number that features numerous styles and instruments. And other tracks are a little too ambient on their own, such as “Are You Coming Home, Love Mom”, and they really fall a little flat without the scenery that goes along with it.
But in the end, I would have to say that the soundtrack of World of Goo
, along with the other components of the game, is a large success. This is one of the few times where I just had
to get my hands on the soundtrack of a video game, as the music not only fit along beautifully with the game’s tone and atmosphere, but was also great enough to enjoy as is. As a routine gamer, I find it exciting that indie games are finally getting their time to shine, and if they are all as unique and spectacular as World of Goo
, then gamers definitely have a lot to be excited about.