The next free game on the Epic Games Store, as of May 2, will be World of Goo, the bizarre, sticky, and exceptionally good structure-building puzzle game from 2008. Even better, after years of languishing in a not-quite-right state, it's been given a significant update to ensure that it runs properly on modern PCs.
"The last time we built the PC version of World of Goo was ten years ago, way back in 2009. The game ran at a 4:3 aspect ratio and at a resolution of 800x600. Most computers now can't even enter that old 800x600 mode without the screen flashing or glitching. The game would also crash your computer if you had more than one monitor hooked up," World of Goo designer, artist, and composer Kyle Gabler explained.
"So over the last few months, we've rebuilt the game for Win / Mac / Linux and it should now work nicely again on everyone's modern computers. It'll run by default at a modern widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio, and at whatever size you want. We also made a lot of improvements over the years for other platforms, like Nintendo Switch, so we brought over those improvements as well."
Those improvements include doubling the resolution of all graphics—800x600 does not look super-great on big, modern displays—with "high quality upscaling tools to start," and then tweaking by hand. For die-hard old-school types, an option to use the original graphics will also be available.
One thing that won't be available, unfortunately, are leaderboards. Gabler said they never worked very well anyway—"Our poor server constantly got stressed out and shut itself down"—and so they were taken offline for good a few years back. "In all recent versions of the game, including the version launching on the Epic store, we've redesigned bits of the game to accommodate this change," he said. He also pointed out that leaderboard support is offered by GooFans.com, saying that it's "a much nicer leaderboard system than we ever had."
The updated version of World of Goo will eventually be released everywhere, but the Epic Games Store will be first. If you want to know why you should play it, read this.