de Blob 2
Developer: Blue Tongue Entertainment
Release Date: 28 August 2018
Price: $29.99 / £26.99
Reviewed by Bryan Auer
There are many things in de Blob 2 that are reminiscent of the era during which it was originally released. There are also many things to like here as well. Initially published in early 2011, it has been seeing new life on current gen systems this year thanks to an HD re-release. How well does the game hold up? Well, that’s why we’re here, right?
In de Blob 2, you once again take the role of Blob, who seems to be a ball or perhaps wad of paint. In his last adventure, he put a stop to Comrade Black, who had sucked all of the colour out of Chroma City.
Now Black is back, this time disguised as a priest named Papa Blanc. He rigs the Prisma City mayoral election, allowing his minions to overrun the town, scrubbing the colour from buildings and damaging the underground systems that allow colour to flow. Upon hearing this news, Blob pounces into action.
Paint the town red. And Blue. And green…
The main mechanic in this game is using Blob to jump on, roll over, or basically just touch anything in the environment to add colour to it. It’s essentially a 3D platformer, and a pretty competent one at that. There are gaps to clear, buildings and city blocks to ascend, and various enemies and objects to stomp on. There are also occasional forays into the underground for some more puzzle based 2D platforming.
Your main focus is completing objectives while balancing a time mechanic. Although most of the level objects can be painted, the game will give you tasks to complete, such as, “colour those buildings green.”
Once finished, you are rewarded with a new task and with more time, which is added to the clock at the top of the screen. When the clock runs out, Blob fails and goes back to the last checkpoint.
There are other ways to gain extra time around the level, as well as non-compulsory things to colour. Trees sprout leaves and cars come to life and fly around the city. Sometimes cars can be ridden to help you reach a number of collectables hidden around the levels. These include new patterns for splatted buildings, inspiration points to level up Blob’s skills, and artwork slides.
As for Blob himself, he is made up of paint points. They are used nearly every time something in the game gets coloured; certain moves and attacks Blob can perform require them as well. As points are spent, Blob will become smaller and quicker. If they run out and Blob takes damage, it’s failure and back to the checkpoint.
Early on, there are plenty of pools of paint scattered about the levels, wherein Blob can refill completely. As the game deepens however, you will have to mix colours yourself, and chances to top off the paint tank become more scarce. Managing your time becomes key to stretching your colour during these sections.
As Blob rolls over colourless objects, different instruments will play, depending on his current hue. For example, purple will cue some backup singers, and mixing all the colours together to make brown will introduce record scratches to the music. Each of these little sound bites add to the level music, which is already really great. When Blob is streaking his way seamlessly through the levels, it creates a very cool experience.
At the end of each level, the game tallies up the amount collectables grabbed, things painted, secrets found, etc. and prints out a letter grade. The player can replay the levels again anytime to increase their score, adding some welcome replayability to proceedings.
Ultimately, de Blob 2 is a game aimed at younger players, but its wide appeal is what led the sequel to Wii exclusive de Blob to be developed for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 as well. The platforming is the star of the show here, with lots of 3D city to explore and secrets to find. Where the game really shines though is in the 2D sections. These require more thought and planning, more manipulation of the environment, and occasionally using Blob’s mechanics in new and interesting ways. There is nothing stopping adults from finding a lot to enjoy in this title.
Much like Super Mario Galaxy before it, de Blob 2 has a simplified two player co-op mode. Player 2 can take control of Blob’s friend, Pinky, and assist player 1 by shooting certain enemies and picking up items. It doesn’t go much farther than that, but it doesn’t really need to.
My only gripe with the game is the in-game timer. The further you get, the more difficult it becomes to manage. I found myself getting lost in the level, casually enjoying the act of painting the cityscape or exploring the underground sections, only to be brought back down to earth by the realisation that I wasn’t doing exactly what the game was asking of me. Perhaps I’m a little too ADHD for my own good, but being cut a little slack in this department would’ve been nice.
The reason for the seemingly steeper price tag for a 7 year old game is that this is a HD re-release. While there wasn’t much going on under the hood of this game back in 2011, the update is still noticeable. The pixel edges are clean, what little textures there are look nice, and the frame rate is stable.
A hardcore candy centre wrapped in a casual gamer coating, de Blob 2 is definitely worth your money if you’re a fan of platformers. With great music, hypnotic visuals, and an interesting spin on an old genre, it will keep you or your kid (or you and your kid) coming back for more.
Pros & Cons
+ Great music and sound design
+ Excellent platforming puzzles
+ Fun and humorous story
- Annoying time mechanic
- Infrequent checkpoints