Game Reviews

de Blob

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| de Blob (iPhone)
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de Blob
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| de Blob (iPhone)

Upon visiting a new city, the temptation to paint the town red is irresistible – literally. When the malevolent INKT Corporation drains all the colour from the city, it's up to you to revert grey scale back to rainbow. Playing as a miniature blob, de Blob has you soaking up globules of paint to restore vibrancy to the city. Rolling over a dot of red paint, for instance, enables you to give buildings a crimson hue. Should you grab another red glob, you'll grow in size; however, pick up a blue dab of paint and your shade turns violet.

Certain structures can only be painted with a specific colour. Later stages demand more complex shades, which naturally requires a bit of thought when picking up paint. Since the game is controlled via tips and tilts of the device, you constantly need to be aware of where you're rolling. Thanks to a calibration tool that prompts you to set the neutral position and sensitivity of the accelerometer every time you play the game, the motion controls work beautifully. Of course, it helps that the game has been inherently designed with these controls in mind.

Each of the city's four districts – residential, commercial, industrial, and government – are organized into blocks that serve as individual levels. Reviving a block means dousing enough buildings with colour to reach a set point total. Bonus revolutionary missions that have you battling INKT Corp. forces can be tackled for extra points. Additionally, special block stars encourage you to complete stages within an optional time limit and high score.

Although it technically touts two options of play, de Blob really only has one. Revolution mode offers the core single-player experience, while Free Splash takes the stages from that mode and lets you play them individually. It's redundant since you're able to tackle stages in Revolution at will as well. In the end, the game doesn't offer much variety because it essentially packs in one type of play.

Beyond its lacking assortment of modes, de Blob has difficulty keeping the gameplay fresh. There's little that differs between blocks – the objective always stays the same and revolutionary missions remain identical. You can be sure that later blocks have been laid out in a more challenging fashion, requiring more advanced colour combinations, for example. That, however, doesn't feel fresh or varied.

After spending a few minutes with the game, you're bound to grow restless. It's simply too repetitive. Those minutes are well spent though, as the accelerometer is put to good use. So de Blob is best played in short bursts, which allows you to complete a block or two and enjoy it. In increments longer than ten or 15 minutes, the magic of this inventive game bleeds away from the turpentine of repetition.

de Blob

A colourful and likeable accelerometer-enabled adventure with a tinge of repetitive design
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