Well de Blob is an odd game. I'm normally more into the violent side of things, yet I do occasionally like my puzzle games as well. When I first heard of this project it was through the site's Co-Editor Wolf and it was apparently some students in a University in the Netherlands had created a fun little paint-style game for their course or something. I'm not 100% on the history but it caught my attention.
So now imagine my amusement when said game, de Blob, turns up on my doorstep and I have to sit down and review it armed with my trusty Wii-mote and sense of humour that you often need for these kinds of things. It's a kid's game, so I'm going to cut it some slack and give it a good play. Which I did, I found a lot to like here and only a few annoying awkward 'jump' moments that were frustrating for a while until I got the hang.
The controls for de Blob are pretty simple to learn, use the nunchucks' analogue stick for movement and make a sharp jab with the Wii-mote to jump or strike. Told you it was simple enough. There were times where I noticed that a jump didn't quite register or an attack wasn't recognised but these were few and far between, not enough to truly irk me into swearing and throwing the Wii-mote into the TV.
You're a blob in the colourful world of Raydia and the most vibrant city is called Chroma. The Raydians, the inhabitants of the world love colour a lot. But there's a fly in the ointment known as Comrade Black, he and the evil INKT Corporation are out to turn the world into a monochrome paradise where colour is something the Raydian's can only dream of, sucking their souls into the lifeless grey of the Greydians, that's GREYdians, thank you very much.
A few of the Raydians escape and form a group known as the Colour Underground, de Blob is the most recent addition and you're given tasks in this 3d platformer from these guys. You must then paint the city back to its original vibrant colour scheme and you do this by collecting paint pots and so on. It's a great game for kids and probably certain adults as well, since it's not exactly brain-taxing most of the time. Some of the puzzles are a little fiendish.
You have a few goals, like painting INKT landmarks to upset their operations, racing to a particular spot, colouring certain objects and taking out a certain number of foes. Combat is simple, lock on is easy and the challenge of the game stems from the order in which you have to paint and colour the various buildings. Blobby has a limited amount of paint and has to get more from the paintbots. You can mix colours and it's not overly complex, I counted only three colours mostly used. Again, it's a game more targeted towards kids (as the Wii tends to be a good starter console in that respect).
Since it's a 3D platformer there are hazards to avoid, certain obstacles to keep clear of and you should beware Ink. This will drain de Blob of all his stored paint and colour.
It's a nice looking game with some intelligent and clever level design, it's full of fun characterization and the graphics/animations prove that you don't have to be a big studio to get the best out of the Wii, even though compared to other consoles it's a little less impressive. Blue Tongue's game is easily one of the brightest and fun platformer romps to come onto Nintendo's console in a while.
The game is a good one, there's no doubt. It's not too tricky and you can certainly have a lot of fun with it. There's also some multiplayer, perfect for families and there are three game modes on offer, for up to four players. These are simple enough: tag the blob that can paint so you can paint, reach a location before the other players and paint the city before everyone else. Fun, frenetic and a perfect diversion away from the 10 to 11 hour single player campaign/story mode.
Whilst it might not be a big game studio game de Blob has the heart and soul to remain a firm favourite on the Wii for me.