Oct 7, 2008

It creeps, and leaps, and glides and slides across the floor!

Add to that, leaving a hodgepodge of colors trailing behind you that would put a Rainbow Brite to shame, Ladies and Gentlemen this is not your father's gelatinous sphere, this is de Blob!

"Hello!"

Developed for the Wii by Blue Tongue for THQ, de Blob is a platform/adventure game that will have you bouncing off the walls. Literally. The happy little town of Chroma City has had all it's color syphoned away by the evil I.N.K.T. Corporation leaving it's citizens to a sad, grey scale existence. As Blob, it's your job to return the city to it's former glory and defeat the evil Comrade Black and his minions, the Inkies (minions actually quite adorable).


So, just how does one go about restoring color to an entire city? Simple. Any way you want. Blob starts out as a blank slate just like Chroma City but all that color must be stored somewhere, right? Sure enough, Comrade Black has little mechanized creatures roaming the city filled with reds, yellows and blues. Once you fill Blob up with color by slamming down on them with your Wii Remote, anything you touch turns that color. Paint the town red if you want! Or yellow or blue. But don't stop there. Just like the good ol' pre-school days, if you mix multiple colors you can create your own palate: Orange, green, purple and of course, brown.

mini-version for the iPhone, developed by Universomo, was released last month but de Blob's origins go back a lot farther than that. The picture above, you see, features a very different looking Blob. Originally created by eight students studying Game Design & Development at the Utrecht School of the Arts and one Game & Media Technology student from the University of Utrecht, "The Blob" was meant to serve as a model for what the actual city of Utrecht in the Netherlands would look like in 15 years time after being completely rebuilt. THQ took notice of the project and acquired the rights to the game and the rest is history. The city of Utrecht has since adopted de Blob as their mascot. Not bad for a lump of rotund goo huh?

Being rotund does have it's advantages. Though the game starts out simple enough, "Paint this row of buildings yellow", "Squash those Inkies," it quickly escalates in difficulty and being round sure does help with the getaways. Inkies acquire speedy hovercrafts and giant turrets which, in turn require you to possess more color to destroy. If you don't have enough, look out, one quick squirt of black ink and you'll find yourself racing for the nearest water supply. 

Your color supply drains quickly when inked, if it reaches zero you'll lose a life. Difficulty is all relative in de Blob however. While it increases over time it's never so hard that an adult would find themselves stuck. It's clear this game is directed at the younger crowd but coloring is fun for everyone and since this is for the Wii, you know it will make a great party game.


De Blob isn't all fun and games unfortunately. As you collect more color (up to 100 units) you grow in size, similar to the Katamari games, which de Blob has often been compared to. Sadly your increased width also makes you slower (just like in Katamari) and therefore easier prey for Inkies. 

This game is nowhere near Katamari's quirkiness although it's Color Revolutionaries come close. While you have free range to color as you wish most of the time, these four NPC's are around to dole out missions. Blob never utters a word during the game and you can almost say that for the Revolutionaries. Almost. They speak in garbled sentences that require caption bubbles. You could be led to believe the voices were computer generated but no, actual voice actors were used. The missions are timed and if you fail the first time around your progress is saved but new one's pop up at an alarming rate. Add to that an over-all time limit and you find yourself skipping handfuls just to get to the next part of town in time. 

It all comes down to what you look for in a video game. If you have kids, de Blob is definitely a great game choice for them. The colors and characters will keep them entertained for hours. Plus, they can make as big of a mess as they want, it's only on the TV.  Gamers who enjoy a casual, low-intensity game now-and-then will be entertained by it as well. It's also simple enough to play so no one feels left out if you pop it in during a party. If you don't own a Wii your only other choice is to wait until 2009. That's when THQ developer Helixe brings out it's de Blob release for the Nintendo DS.

Don't let Comrade Black and the Inkies win! Get coloring with de Blob! It's much more fun than terrorizing Steve McQueen and a small town in Pennsylvania with your amoeba-like qualities anyway.

2 comments:

Luke said...

de Blob is definitely one of the better Wii titles to come out so far this year. It's got a nice look and feel that makes you want to keep playing.

GeekBoy said...

Looks fun!