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For: iPhone   Also on: iPad

Catapulted close to glory

Product: Blobster | Developer: Divine Robot | Publisher: Chillingo | Format: iPhone | Genre: Casual, Platform, Puzzle | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0
Blobster iPhone, thumbnail 1
It must be difficult to try and think of new ways to make 2D platformers exciting. It is, after all, a universally accepted fact that the genre reached its peak during the 16-bit era.

How do you take a style of game that has existed for two decades and breathe new life into it?

Or, perhaps more importantly, how do you get people interested in a game that they're already expecting to fall short of something they played in their dim and distant past?

Simple. You make the hero of the game really, really stretchy. Problem solved.

In blob we trust

Blobster is a game that wears its old skool credentials on its sleeve. Or at least it would if it had any sleeves.

You guide the titular hero through 40 levels of physics-based puzzling fare. Blobster leaps, springs, and catapults across a multicolour world that does more than just pay homage to the adventures of a certain famous mustachieod plumber.

You bounce on your foes' heads to dispatch them and exit each level via a green pipe, while every item you collect lets out a resonant and comfortably familiar 'ding'.

There's one thing that Blobster does differently from the pack, and that's jumping. Rather than pushing or tapping a button to fling Blobster into the air, you twang him like an elastic band.

The divine right to fling

The longer you stretch your friendly red blob out the farther he'll be fired in the opposite direction.

Blobster can also grow in stature by collecting special red splotches. The larger he becomes, the higher he can jump, which opens up previously inaccessible parts of the level.

Its a brilliantly original mechanic, which - coupled with the various attachments Blobster can acquire to augment his abilities - leaves you with a fun game that's constantly evolving and keeping you on your toes.

On each level, there are a number of blobs to collect. Some of them are easy to find, while the rest are hidden in infuriating places that require pinpoint precision and quick thinking on your part to pick them up.

The final stretch

Unfortunately, the controls do take a little bit of getting used to. You tap the left of the screen to go left and the right of the screen to go, well, right.

When Blobster is on the far side of the screen, the game occasionally gets confused about whether you're trying to fire him into the air or move him around.

There's an option to switch to tilt controls, but that makes the jumping more difficult and the whole game less enjoyable.

Those tiny niggles aside, Blobster is remarkably entertaining. It's a lot deeper than its cartoon styling would initially have you believe, and it manages to mix together elements from some of the great platforming titles of yore.

It's fun, it's addictive, and it lets you catapult an amorphous splodge of colour into the teeth of spinning cogs. All it lacks is that vital pick-up-and-play spark that only the likes of Mario can lay claim to.

Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 19 July 2011
A solid platform game that is well worth picking up despite falling just short in its slingshot leap towards greatness
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