Physics Games and Physics-Based Game Downloads

Merry-Goo-Round: Tower of Goo

Friday, March 31st, 2006 by Matthew in Physics Games
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (Rate this game! 208 votes, average: 3.92 out of 5)

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.

Tower of Goo Screenshot Screenshot of Physics Games
(Tower of Goo Game Screenshots)

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.

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6 Responses to 'Merry-Goo-Round: Tower of Goo'

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  1. Verners said,

    on April 3rd, 2006 at 8:18 am

    This is a realy nice game, just that i got it quite a while back…

    If someone likes this kind of game, should realy check out this site, as it hase some more made by the same guy, and some totaly wicked other ones:

  2. Dylan said,

    on April 3rd, 2006 at 10:23 am

    Very original. But it gets boring pretty quickly. Nice game overall though.

  3. Gmod_User said,

    on April 10th, 2006 at 3:16 pm

    Wow, Listen to the little squeaky noises when you go up higher, is things like
    “Holy F***” “Bite me B****”

    Naughty little easter eggs there!

  4. mckibbon17 said,

    on May 11th, 2006 at 1:04 am

    ok i dont understand my comp will run ever game in the world right now and yet i cant run this wtf is up with that???

  5. Colin Popell said,

    on March 3rd, 2007 at 8:09 pm

    I actually know one of the guys that co-worked on this game when he was in university…I had a copy of it way before it came out.

  6. Cello9213 said,

    on June 8th, 2007 at 7:50 am


    The game runs fine, but as soon as I get toward the top of the screen, everything starts vibrating..
    then wobbling..
    and before you know it you have this strangely fluctuating mess on the ground with no hope of building from it — anything i manage to get out of it also just falls back into the blob.

    What’s with that?

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