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Rise of the Blobs

For: Android   Also on: iPhone, iPad

Fruit flinging

Product: Rise of the Blobs | Developer: Robot Invader | Format: Android | Genre: Puzzle | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
 
Rise of the Blobs Android, thumbnail 1
Striking the right balance in a puzzle game is vital. If you make the mechanics too simple, it becomes boring. But make them too complicated and it becomes frustrating. Hitting the middle ground is not an easy task. Rise of the Blobs is proof of this.

On the surface, it appears to get everything right. The 3D visuals are great, the mechanic of spinning a column using swipes works well, and the central idea of popping blocks by throwing the appropriate item of fruit at them is straightforward.

What brings the game down is the fact that it never achieves the right difficulty balance.

Rising up

The only way to remove blocks is to hurl down corresponding items of fruit. So orange blocks need to be hit with an orange, and so on. When a block is detonated it takes with it any connected blocks of the same colour, allowing you to remove large portions of blocks in one go.

The problem with this is that keeping on top of things is made harder than it should be by the fact that you can't see all of the blocks at once. Because you're dealing with a column that you can spin a full 360 degrees, your view of the action is always partially obscured.

As the blocks rise up the speed of the game increases, with fruit being thrown at a swifter pace. This exacerbates the issue of your blindness to the full picture, as you have even less time to rotate the column and locate a suitably coloured block.

IAPs explained
All items in the game are purchased using coins, which are awarded for simply playing the game. The problem is, it takes ages to get a large amount - a fact which funnels you towards the IAP.

You can obtain free coinage by performing actions such as 'Liking' the developer's Facebook page or giving it a '+1' on Google Plus, but the only surefire way to grab a lot of coins is to pay for them. 2,500 coins costs 69p, while 500,000 will set you back a whopping £69.99.
Mr blobby

This problem is alleviated slightly by the presence of special items that can radically alter your fortunes, but once used these have to be replaced via in-game currency - which predictably is awarded at such as slow rate that the temptation to resort in in-app purchasing to gain more is almost unavoidable.

Indeed, balance issues of another kind rear their ugly head when it comes to the rate at which you unlock elements in the game. It takes hours to get anywhere, and all the time the allure of speeding things up with real money is sitting there, goading you into reaching for your wallet.

Rise of the Blobs is the kind of game that is just a few short steps away from greatness, but is held back by a few niggles which - when combined - conspire to ruin your enjoyment. Hardcore puzzle lovers may last long enough to locate some entertainment, but for everyone else, there are better experiences on the Google Play market.
 
Rise of the Blobs
Reviewer photo
Damien McFerran | 6 February 2013
Somewhere inside Rise of the Blobs there's the grain of a decent puzzle idea. Sadly, however, it gets bogged down by awkward difficulty and a slow-drip upgrade system which relies heavily on in-app purchases
 
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