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de Blob

For: Mobile   Also on: DS

Let's paint the town red

Product: de Blob | Developer: Universomo | Publisher: THQ Wireless | Format: Mobile | Genre: Casual, Puzzle | Players: 1 | Format: J2ME | File size: 263KB | Version: Europe
de Blob Mobile, thumbnail 1
Here's a life lesson for you: most good things have a downside. Take washing your clothes. Shoving those dirty rags in the washing machine every week gets them clean, washes out stains and gets rid of bad smells. But it also damages your clothes. So what do we do? We add specially formulated conditioners to keep in the colour and add a bit of bounce back, reversing the bad effects of something that's meant to be good for us.

And that's a little bit like life. Every day we get older and, though we might not see it, a little bit more colour drains from our faces. So what could be better than a game that's all about putting a spring back in our step, colouring the walls and bringing places back to life? de Blob is designed to do that very job, following the exploits of, well, a big blob as he roams the streets sucking up paint and literally painting the town red, or blue, or orange, or brown. You get the picture.

Taking control of said blob, your basic task is to guide him round various cityscapes, helping him turn them from the grey, barren wastelands into bright and colourful abodes that everyone is happy to reside in. Doing so requires you simply to bump your blob into the walls of the buildings that line all the maps, which turns the entire structure into the colour you happen to be sporting at the time. Starting out as a solemn and pale little blob, you pick up colour by walking over the various globules of paint that plop out of the ground.

As you might have guessed, this is not a game with a grand narrative or a love of logic, but rather a collection of mini-tasks presented in an altogether endearing format. As well as painting the town, which earns you points, there are also other challenges that you can activate mid-level (such as painting X number of buildings within a set timeframe, or racing from checkpoint to checkpoint against the clock) and which add points to your total, sub-goals such as painting 'landmarks' certain colours when you're a certain size, and freeing civilians who've been frozen solid by sheer boredom.

With the clock ticking down, the idea is to combine as many of these tasks as possible so that you hit the target score, which opens the door from one map to the following one. The beauty here is, de Blob provides perfectly for those who just want to reach their targets so they can move on. However, whizz-kids who hit the total early will also have the freedom to explore the rest of the map, banishing any hint of grey firmly to memory.

Of course, our blobby friend doesn't have everything his own way - the levels are, of course, patrolled by the very beings (suitably called the I.N.K.T agents, given they have the power to turn your paint into ink) that sapped the world of colour in the first place. If they happen to come into contact with you, you'll find yourself equally sapped, with the only option being to find yourself a water fountain to help you start all over again. That's unless you take them out before they get to you, suitably by squishing your big blobby self on top of them.

There aren't many more satisfying ways of despatching an assailant than squishing it to death, and it's actions like this that make de Blob the perfect antidote to your average gangs-and-guns action title. This is accessible, this is clean, and this is colourful in every sense imaginable. It's fair to say that it won't hold everyone's attention, as all you're doing is directing your blob from wall to wall, but for those who fancy a splash on something part-puzzle, part-paintbrush, this should be the first port of call.
de Blob
Reviewer photo
Keith Andrew | 8 October 2008
Fairly simple but endearing title that will bring colour to your screen and a smile to your face – if it grips you enough to play beyond the first few levels, that is
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