Drinkbox Studios are creeping up on being a noteworthy studio. 2011 brought us the interesting Tales From Space: About a Blob, and Mutant Blobs Attack!!! - an easy-on-the-wallet, breezy little puzzle platformer (and Vita launch title) - gives one yet more hope for their upcoming third effort, Guacamelee.
If they keep this up, one can expect them to start making flat-out great games - but they're not quite there, yet. They're just pleasantly, comfortably close.
There's very little wrong with Mutant Blobs Attack - it's a charming game that's not too charming, a fun game that's not too fun, and occasionally challenging while never too challenging. It's nice. It's good.
Once upon a time, there are some blobs in the Humane Blob Torture Research Center. There, they are tortured.
And so, filled to the brim with a patient, seething hatred of mankind, once they make good their escape there's only one thing on the docket - revenge, on a global scale.
The total annihilation of humanity doesn't happen overnight, though - things start off small.
With a touch of Katamari Damacy, your one-eyed, spiked little blob will absorb and digest anything that's small enough. It begins with cheezies and peanuts - a gentle introduction to basic mechanics - and by midway through the game you're feeding on cows, attack choppers and those pathetically solid humans. The name of the game is often the same - you enter an area with a plug you are too small to absorb. You negotiate the environment - often solving (gentle, never-too-hard) puzzles in the process, and once you reach your target girth you can absorb the plug and proceed.
Mutant Blobs Attack has charming presentation - all bold lines and slightly muted pastels, with an omnipresent "tube" effect on your sleek Vita screen. It's very cool to absorb a guy and see him floating around inside your gooey body, the music is suitably enthralled by the silly 50s horror vibe, and load times zip by like a blob caught in a vacuum chute.
Both pleasing and strangely uncomfortable is the physicality of the titular blob. When you impact a surface, "he" suitably deforms into it - his boneless being threatens to drip off edges, his very-grippy body allowing him an extra moment to leap to safety where simple two-legged climbers might falter.
At the same time - while it's very cool to have such precise visual feedback when he hits a surface, you're denied it when he leaves it. We're so used to animations that remind us of how much effort our heroes are putting in to their epic climbs, it's a bit strange to receive no such feedback here.
And that's the worst thing I can say about Mutant Blobs Attack.
Mutant Blobs Attack is a cheap game - eight dollars - and for its price, it's a fine little addition to your Vita's downloadable library. A breezy, charming, comfortable way to spend an afternoon, Mutant Blobs Attack won't redefine your expectations of a genre and won't make you a lifelong fan of Drinkbox Studios - but it's easy to like, and makes it difficult to not be a little hopeful about the studio's future.
- eight bucks!
- fun presentation
- nice music!
- comfortable, easygoing mechanics
- puzzles that are never too hard
- You can totally absorb and digest people. And cows and stuff.
- an easy-like-Sunday-morning, breezy little nosh of a game
- I love the way your blob will deform - from squishing in to tight spaces to slapping in to an edge
- the handful of mechanics which are added throughout the game are well thought-out, with a lot of mileage
- that last level was pretty awesome
- makes one hopeful about what Drinkbox will put out next
- I find it weird to be playing a platformer without a jump animation. Is that like, the worst negative point I could possibly come up with? I think it might be.
- your motion controls aren't bad, Drinkbox - but that doesn't mean I have to like them
- never really transcends "pretty good." It's good. It's fine. It's fun. No biggie.
A breezy, pleasant little nosh of a game. Check it out.