The Wii has certainly become home to many a feel-good game since its launch over three years ago. Games such as NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams, Super Paper Mario, and LostWinds have managed to combine excellent gameplay with a touching, emotional story that just tugs at your heartstrings. Enter: A Boy and His Blob. While certainly a little easy on the storytelling and narrative aspects, this reimagining of the 1989 Nintendo Entertainment System original tells a tale all its own through the use of beautiful visuals, a heart-warming soundtrack, and engaging puzzle gameplay.
Much of the story in A Boy and His Blob is left for interpretation, but the main aspect of the tale is clear. The evil King of Blobolonia has enslaved all of the resident blobs except for one who manages to escape. The small jelly-bean shaped blob makes his way to earth and befriends a young boy. And so begins our quest. While there are hardly any cut scenes in the game, you’ll get the feeling that the boy and his squishy pal are forming a deep bond.
Through the course of the game, you’ll jump over chasms, climb ridges, and take out enemies. While this sounds like typical platform game fare, A Boy and His Blob is a puzzle game at its core. Getting through the stages requires both the boy and his blob to work cohesively. The blob has the ability to shift into a number of different objects, and this is done by feeding it different jelly beans. The numerous jelly beans can turn the blob into a ladder, a trampoline, a flotation device, an anvil, and a rocket to name a few. You’ll have to employ each of the blob’s abilities if you want to clear each stage.
What makes A Boy and His Blob so much fun is that it doesn’t have one or two puzzles scattered throughout the stages. Instead, the majority of the level progression is done by solving puzzles. You’ll be feeding your blob jelly beans at a brisk rate and solving puzzle after puzzle as you make your way through a forest, a city, and space itself.
The first few stages feature hints, and the puzzles are fairly straightforward. As you progress, however, you’ll have to figure out which abilities to use, and the puzzles will certainly get tougher. Granted none of the puzzles will cause you to throw your controller on the floor out of sheer frustration, the game’s later brain teasers will elicit many a head-scratching moment.
The gameplay isn’t without its flaws, though. The blob tends to trail behind quite a bit, and you’ll constantly find yourself hitting the “call” button three times in a row as doing so makes the blob go straight to your location. The little gelatinous creature also gets stuck in a lot of places. Many times you’ll see that it’s stuck a level lower than you are. This is something that happens a lot, and many players will likely get frustrated with the blob’s somewhat lacking AI.
A Boy and His Blob is definitely a treat for the eyes. The bulk of the game consists of hand-drawn animation, but you’ll also see watercolor, acrylic, and graphic design elements thrown into the mix. Simply put, Wayforward really managed to create a beauty of a game. The locales are rich in color, and subtle things such as leaves blowing in the wind and lively backgrounds only sweeten the eye candy.
The game’s soundtrack is almost as rich as its visuals. You’ll hear calm melodies throughout the majority of the game, but boss battles as well as the final set of levels all feature intense themes. It’s a collection of music that hits all the right notes. There are no big surprises in regards to the musical score, but for a game such as this, a pure soundtrack works extremely well.
A Boy and His Blob will take you anywhere between 10 and 15 hours to complete. The game features 40 normal stages, and each one is decent in size. Additionally, each stage contains three treasure chests. Finding and collecting all three chests opens up a bonus stage. This brings the game’s total to 80 stages. Completing bonus stages unlocks concept art and other little treats. While not a huge game by any means, A Boy and His Blob is a pretty lengthy adventure with a good amount of extra content for completists.
A Boy and His Blob has some flaws, especially in terms of the blob’s AI, but those who look past that will find a true gem of a game. The game’s beautiful presentation and solid soundtrack only accentuate the game’s enthralling gameplay elements. The constant puzzle-solving makes this game worth playing, and while it offers a moderate challenge, this title will likely never result in frustration. Ultimately, A Boy and His Blob manages to bring a lengthy quest filled with great puzzles to the Wii. Those who want to play something that has a steady pace and keeps you immersed need look no further.
Article from Gamersyndrome.com
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