de Blob review
Paint the World!
E3 Trailer for de Blob
Blob - Green Version
de Blob is a puzzle game developed by BlueTongue Software and definitely my favourite puzzle game to date! I admit that when I received the game as a Christmas gift my head was filled with doubts, but I couldn't have been more wrong in making such assumptions.
Gameplay for de Blob
In de Blob, you take control of the persona of Blob. You've returned home to find it in ruins thanks to INKT (the antagonist organisation of the game) having sucked the colour out of everything! People have become depressed, oppressed, and it is up to you to lead a colour revolution with the Colour Underground (revolution group) to save the people and ultimately the world.
I found the controls to be done quite simple to be able to get on with the game and enjoy it as much as possible. You use the control stick to move around and control pad to move the camera to different angles. Jumping is as simple as flicking the Wii remote down. The targeting system is used via Z button and pressing it multiple times will toggle through all the possible targets within range. All this adds up to only having to really use a couple of buttons which are conveniently all close together and where your fingers are resting anyway.
The idea of an integrated tutorial is one which is becoming more and more popular in the current day and age. Back in the day the tutorial would be completely separate and optional or it would be made the "introductory level" so you had to go through it before you could progress with the game at all.
de Blob cleverly integrates the tutorial into the gameplay, being brilliant for two reasons. One is the obvious of not having to go through what a lot of people would consider "a waste of time" because when you buy a game, you really just want to get into it and using the manual and playing will usually teach you all the vital things to know. The second is that the game teaches you slowly , introducing new concepts at each key point. This is a clever way of teaching the player as it allows them to slowly absorb all the necessary content and learn on a "need to know" basis.
All Cutscenes for de Blob (Spoilers)
The cutscenes, or cinematics as they are often referred to these days, are fantastic. They're thrown into the game during each level and really help to add to the story. These are how you obtain all your background knowledge of de Blob, along with enjoying the beautiful graphics capabilities of the Wii. The good news for a lot of people is you can skip them with the - button.
Mixing Paints - Paintbots:
Before playing the game, I originally had it in my mind it'd be one of those games where you have to use different characters as a whole to reach common goals. After the first minute of playing, I quickly discovered that this is not the case.
One of the first things you learn about is the Paintbot. You see these in the opening, being used by INKT to suck all the colour out of the city. You will see these little guys walking all around the place, whether it be on the road or on top of a building... they are doing their job too, after all. You can target them with the Z button but there really is no point, as you may simply roll over them for the same effect.
Paintbots are colour coded in the sense that on their back is a big tube filled with one colour of paint. This colour will be a primary colour so they will be red, blue or yellow. Each Paintbot will add +10 to your total colour storage, which is limited to a total of 100. You will also notice that each time you take on another load of paint, you grow in size. In fact, you just about triple your size (at least) from 0 to 100.
Then comes the mixing part, aka one of the fun parts! You can achieve secondary colours by absorbing from two different Paintbots. So say you're currently yellow, run over a red Paintbot and you will be transformed into orange. Mixing red, blue and yellow results in a brown colour. Going over water (such as the sea or a fountain) will make you white, while touching any ink or being beaten up by INKT members will result in you being turned black which is the last thing you want.
Your paint volume slowly decreases over time, as you notice you will leave a trail of colour behind you meaning you slowly seep the paint at all times. Hence, you need to be constantly refilling from Paintbots. If you're turned black, your paint volume will decrease at a faster rate and you will infect whatever you touch.
There are four special moves in total. These are wall running, wall jumping, chaining and Z jumping.
Wall running is the process of sticking to the wall, on account of the paint, and sliding along it. This can be useful for getting to hard to reach areas or avoiding ground hazards.
Jumping in de Blob
Wall jumping is similar to wall running, only you use the stickiness to bounce from surface to surface. This is good for travelling long distances fast or reaching higher up places. Note that you have to jump really fast though, otherwise you'll stick and you won't be able to gain any elevation from further jumping.
Chaining is as simple as it sounds, doing something multiple times in succession. In de Blob you can achieve this through wall running and/or wall jumping without touching the ground. This grants you bonus points, so it's a handy thing to practice.
Z Jumping in de Blob
Z Jumping in de Blob Footage
Z jumping is something fun, cool and very helpful all in the one package. It allows you to transverse great distances very quickly and reach out of the way places you'd never be able to any other way. It's also very simple to use, being exactly like the name as with chaining. You use the Z button to target the first jumper and then flick the Wii Remote to jump. You keep using this combination of Z and flick to go through the series of jumpers to the other end.
Hazards are one of the concepts which add an element of difficulty to the game. The most common two are water and ink. Water removing your paint and ink infecting you with black. There are also other hazards including hot plates, spikes, electrocution, and your time limit.
Time limit also deserves its own little explanation. To add an element of excitement and haste, you're literally under the clock at all times. The two main ways to avoid running out of time are just rushing through the levels or, alternatively, doing everything you can to earn time bonuses. Time can be lost to hazards and dangers so you have to watch out!
What's the opposite to a hazard? A pick-up of course! These include styles, colour energy, life, time and transform engines.
Transform Engines are the most interesting of the lot, deserving it's own bit. These are achieved by gaining a certain amount of points during the level, and will be indicated to you by a short cutscene as to their location after being unlocked. To use them, you simply target them with the Z button and then flick the Wii Remote to jump down onto it. This results in the complete surrounding area being restored with colour, a massive boost to your cause and a more than welcome one.
Paint everything you can!
The game has four different Challenge Arrows in total, and they make up the vast majority of gameplay. There are green, blue, orange and brown arrows which correspond to different styles of tasks. You can choose to look at a task, then accept or decline, by going near the arrow and pressing the A button. Challenges also vary in levels, which are indicated with stars, and give out varying amounts of points appropriately.
Green - This one will make Arty appear. He will ask you to paint a certain something a certain colour. This simply means making yourself the right colour and splashing everything that is flashing. This is without a doubt, the easiest of the four styles of challenges.
Blue - This one will make Zip appear. He'll ask you to race around a part of the current area, from start to finish, following a set of flares he's set up around the place. This is another fairly easy style of challenge.
Orange - This one will make Bif appear. This one is the hardest, for it involves engaging in combat. This means risking possible inking and contamination, though rapid use of the Z button and flicking will usually see you through safely.
Brown - This will make the Prof. appear. This is my personal favourite of the lot. He'll point out a local landmark to you, and tell you what it used to be and what it is now (getting back to the point I made about learning background information through cutscenes) and he'll tell you a certain amount and what colour of paint you'll need for restoration, an example of this being yellow and 30. This means you'll want your total paint volume to be over 30 so you don't run out and will want to find a yellow (or two) Paintbot/s. You'll then target a pad on the front of the building with the Z button and flick the remote to jump inside of the building. Once inside, you need to shake the remote fast to shake all that paint off you and fill up the bar which appears on the screen. Once done, the landmark is restored to the original way of colouring and you gain big points.
Restoring Colour to the Raydians
Raydians are the second big goal during the game. You'll notice that, like with the real world, the buildings are separated into blocks. By completing an entire block, you will receive the notification of a small achievement and a load of white guys in white suits (as indicated in the above image) will pop out of one side of the block. It's then your duty to run them all over, freeing them from the suits and restoring their colour. This rewards you with a good amount of points and a time increase like the arrow challenges.
The third and final main goal is the gates. These allow you to go from one area to the next, or basically the main way of progressing through the game. A gate can be unlocked by gaining the minimum amount of required points in the current area. This will make a jump pad appear in front of it, which you can slam using the target and flick approach to open. Just don't forget to paint the gate first for extra points! The more points you make, the more gates you open, expanding the game and increasing the enjoyment level.
Blob Revolts against INKT
de Blob doesn't stop at just single player mode, it offers a multiplayer function as well. Attacking is the same as in single player mode while the B button now becomes your way of shielding. There are three different gaming styles to choose from being Point Match, Blob on the Run, and Blob Race. It's a great way to get more enjoyment out of the game or to try and rope some friends into buying it!
A Fully Painted Block
I don't know why people insult the graphics of the Wii so much. I found the graphics of this game to be astonishingly awesome, especially with the cutscenes. The main theme of the game means that it has great contrasts, from the dull white and black to the vibrant colours you splash everywhere. This means you not only enjoy the graphics, but you get to help in making them which I found to be a lot of fun.
Soundtracks of de Blob
Adding to the already large diversity of de Blob, the music is just another way to add to the fun. In fact, the music is not fixed but in fact you are the one with control. Before beginning to play, you can choose what style of music you would like to listen to. This allows you to customise your gameplay to suit your mood, or change it! All are composed really well, so I recommend listening to them all.
The game presents a number of unlockables. These include bonus challenges, items, artwork, music, awards and more! This gives a big boost to replay value as there is no way you'll manage to achieve everything with your first play through. In fact, if you search really hard, there's a lot of hidden secrets in the game.
Other Interesting Features:
You can literally colour anything! Want a blue tree? Make a blue tree! Even when on the main menus, if you move the hand around with the Wii Remote you'll scribble across the background with yellow paint! You can also change the colour of this "hand paint" with the C button.
The sounds of de Blob are cool and cute, two favourite things of mine. Stuff like the explosions sound awesome with high volume and then there's things like the little celebrations from the Raydians which are just so cute you want to hug them all.
Side missions comes in big and small ways. As I explained, there are such things as the challenge arrows. Once finishing an area like the Resort, however, if you go back to the main menu page for story mode you can click it again and see two side missions have been unlocked for you to play! These are well worth it for the extra points and unlockables. Be warned though, they're hard to complete well.
Interview with the Developer
This game has made a fan out of me, there is no two ways about it. At first I was like most people, wondering how a game that sounds so basic could be any good. I hope through that lengthy review I've managed to convince you that it's actually quite complex with a lot of fun included. There really isn't anything I dislike, unless you consider finding some challenges personally difficult a fault of the game designers! Like all games before it there is no such thing as perfection, so I feel I can't give it full marks. So I give it a 4.9 out of 5 because to me, this game really is the next best thing to perfection. So grab a copy, take on the persona of Blob and save the world with your very own colour revolution!
was this review helpful to you?
In order to comment on this user review you must login