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Nov 19, 2008

Review: de Blob

de Blob
THQ, Blue Tongue
Available for Nintendo Wii

Not since Boom Blox has a third party title been so unique and fun on the Nintendo Wii as de Blob, the newest title from THQ and Blue Tongue. This “funky little title that could” got its start as a humble free pc download created by 9 Game Design students in Utrecht in the Netherlands. THQ loved the concept and acquired the rights to the game in order for Blue Tongue Entertainment to create a Wii version of the game.

Our game begins in city enslaved and drained of all joy and colour by the evil group known as I.N.K.T. and the Colour Revolutionists are trying to fight against the evil I.N.K.T. armies and restore colour to their home. Aiding them in their battle is de Blob, a ball of clear liquid that can bounce like a ball and absorb paint like a big sponge. As de Blob, you must use your skills and the helpful advice of the Colour Revolutionists to paint the city with colour, free the people and defeat the I.N.K.T.

Each level provides you with multiple challenges and achievements to complete in order to bring the city section back to life 100%. Challenges and achievements range from painting the entire city section, restoring all the parks, painting a block of building a certain colour scheme or recovering all the landmarks. While most of the game is spend just jumping and painting, the time trials and challenges keep the game play fresh as such the constant painting don’t seem so boring in the end. Really the game almost becomes addictive after a while and with such lengthy and involved levels, this game will consume a fair chuck of your life - much like a real blob would.

de Blob's movements are fairly simple to control with the nunchuk, but having to whip down on the Wii remote to jump which made jumping much more difficult to time and the time trials harder to complete with a gold medal. Jump would have been better suited to the A button but I understand they were trying to take full advance of the system’s Wii mechanics somehow.

The vinyl like graphics bring life to de Blob and his funky world that really only graphics like these could. THQ actual sent out a de Blob vinyl toy with each review copy of the game and it was a perfect fit because that's what you think of when you see the world of de Blob. You think of that smooth painted surface after de Blob has finished painting the whole city.

The audio really adds to the fun experience and addictive nature of the game. The funky tunes that you get to pick from before each level and unlock throughout seemed to get more upbeat, the faster you paint. This just makes you work de Blob harder and groove his little bounces to the music.

The great thing about games like this is that the characters, the environments and music are so unique and wild that they have "classic in the making" stamp all over them. I worry though that de Blob could fall by the wayside in a sea of over-hyped games much like other cult classics like Psychonauts or Beyond Good or Evil; only to be discover as a great game by the masses long after it has been tossed into the bargain bins at EB Games and Blockbuster.

Don’t let this happen to de Blob. The Nintendo Wii isn’t expecting a lot of great third party title this Christmas, so de Blob is pretty much the ultimate third party title this year. I have spend hours fighting my simulator sickness just to play this game (think motion sickness but in reverse), and if that’s not a stellar recommendation, then I don’t know what is. Yes, I love this so much and I chance being sick just to play it. It is just that good, so please go and buy it!

Rating: 9 out of 10
Buy it!

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