Goo Saga is a new platforming adventure game from Toka Loka Games. It is has excellent gameplay, visuals and controls beautifully It is available to download now in the Play Store. It is a premium priced game, but is definitely worth the price of admission.
As a person that has been playing games for quite a while, I enjoy it when a really good game pops up out of nowhere. It isn't on your radar, you haven't heard of the studio and the game completely checks all the right boxes. Compelling gameplay, check. Great visuals, check. Controls that are simple, but used in creative ways, check. Sprinkle in an unusual story, and you have what it takes to have a great game, that you will enjoy for a period of time, no matter how long or short.
Toka Loka Games is based in Athens, Greece. The studio was founded last year. They have one other game in the Play Store entitled The Bait. Their latest game, Goo Saga was released a few days ago, without too much fanfare into the Google Play Store. As we all know, it is a bit difficult to find those new good games, with how the Play Store is set up. Fortunately, you have a few game hunters at DroidGamers, that are always on the lookout for the next best game you should download. This week, it is Goo Saga. The team of six individuals at Toka Loka Games have created something special, and I think you will enjoy playing Goo Saga.
"Goo Saga is a platform adventure game that takes place in a hidden underwater lab, where a reclusive genius scientist seeks to create life for his own enigmatic reasons. After many failed attempts, he succeeds in creating Goo, a strange creature with elastic properties. The scientist soon disappears mysteriously and Goo embarks on a perilous journey through the sunken laboratory, in an effort to find his creator - and with him, the purpose of his own creation."- Toka Loka Games
It is very easy to get wrapped up in the visuals of this game. It looks amazing. However, once you get past the incredibly creative and well-rendered intro video, you are immediately impressed with the game and the foreshadowing of what is to come. Goo is a gelatinous creature that rolls and jumps about. At its heart, this is a puzzle/platforming game. It excels in every aspect of it too. You control Goo with four onscreen buttons. Two on the left and two on the right. The controls on the left move Goo left and right. The controls on the right, allow Goo to jump up, or smash down, if he needs to, to destroy his enemies. The controls are spot on and work perfectly. I never felt once, that the controls impeded my progress. Goo Saga can be a challenging game, but it has all the right elements in the right places. Some areas in the game are a bit easier than others, and then there are those levels that will test your mettle.
There is one other control button on the screen and it is basically a slider. This allows Goo to go from being perfectly round, to subtly round and then almost flat. In any of those forms, he is able to move freely about. Toka Loka describes the different modes as Deflated, Normal and Inflated. This is part of the strategy in the gameplay, as some areas can only be accessed if Goo is nearly flat. Or, if you are jumping, some jumps are best made when Goo is not perfectly round. It may be a bit difficult to understand, but once you get into the gameplay, it all makes sense and feels quite natural.
Part of the beauty of the game is not only in the detail of the backgrounds and the uniqueness of the level design, but in the rendering of Goo himself. He is an adorable little creature that changes color, as he collects little bits of goo throughout the laboratory. It enhances the visuals in the game because Goo changes color so often. It may appear to be a minor detail, but it has a great impact in the overall look of the game.
Goo Saga Features:
3 different states of Goo's elasticity controlled by the player
3 different modes to complete each level: Normal, Survival and Time Trial
Beautiful hand-painted graphics
18 atmospheric soundtracks
Sophisticated level design with meticulously planned alterations between puzzle-solving and platforming based gaming sections
19 levels and 4 boss fights
12 types of robotic foes
Crystals collected through successful completion of the levels and used to enhance Goo's abilities
8 upgradeable character abilities that help Goo in his journey
Enticing storyline delivered through in-game cutscenes
2 different endings
Powerful level editor to create your own levels
Online server where you can upload your levels or download, play and rate other players' levels
Goo Saga has plenty going for it. The three different game modes make how you play the game challenging. Whereas Normal Mode can be challenging on its own, replaying levels in Time Trial can be excruciatingly difficult. The reason is because some of the levels are relatively long. This definitely isn't a knock on the game, but it does let you know that you will have to hone your skills to beat the Time Trial mode on each level. If you are successful in completing each of the modes on the three levels, you are assigned a crystal, which can be used to upgrade Goo's abilities like higher jumping or rolling faster. A good decision on part of the game design, is being able to reassign those abilities for each of the levels you play, because the different levels require different skills available to Goo.
During the gameplay of the levels you will have to avoid enemies or take them down with a jump and a smash. You successfully complete normal mode, when you have captured all of the little bits of goo on the level. This can be a bit tough, as some of the goo is in hard to reach places. This is where the puzzle and platforming elements come in. You have to figure out how to get to all of the different areas. Some areas are unlocked by flipping a switch, but then you have to roll quickly through the area before the door closes. There are also obstacles in the levels that will electrocute you, or spikes that will burst your bubble... literally. The range in level design and the creativity in obstacles and enemies, make the game even better. Throw in a few boss battles and you have an epic campaign that will challenge you and keep you entertained.
I could go on and on about how well put together Goo Saga is. Some of the gameplay elements faintly remind me of a green-moustached individual from the game, Leo's Fortune by 1337 & Senri LLC. If you enjoyed playing that game, you should definitely give Goo Saga a try. The game is premium-priced and costs $4.99 to download. It is not integrated with Google Game Play Services, but you won't miss it. That is saying quite a bit coming from me. I am an achievement hunter all day long when it comes to gaming. The game is that good. The game also comes with a level editor, and the ability to share your levels with others. I haven't given that a go yet, because I am still enjoying the main game.
For those of you that are concerned about length, there are basically 19 levels, but with the three different modes, that translates into over 50 levels, even though you are basically replaying the 19 available. As I mentioned earlier, the different modes change the strategy in how you play the game. This is a game that should be measured by its quality, not necessarily by its length, though it does offer a fair amount of gameplay, especially when you add in the level editor.
Out of the blue and into the murky depths of a laboratory, has Goo Saga arrived. The screenshots of the game don't really do this game justice. You have to see it, hear it and play it, to really appreciate what Toka Loka Games has produced. If you enjoy puzzle/platforming games, Goo Saga is not to be missed. By the way, there are no in-app purchases either. Those that cry afoul of free-to-play games, should really support the excellent efforts of those like Toka Loka Games. $4.99 is money well spent with a game that is as fun and challenging as Goo Saga. Let us know what you think if you download it. The game should be coming to iOS and Steam soon. Imagine that, a winner out of the gate, and it comes to Android first! Thanks Toka Loka Games!
Jaymes Carter - Jaymes Carter is a designer, author and artist. He enjoys reading, music, writing, gaming and learning about the latest advancements in technology. He has been gaming since the early days of Atari and Colecovision. You will more than likely find him creating art, gaming or reading a novel. If he is not doing those things, he is hanging out with his family and friends.