I like platformers. I don’t really like puzzle games. Luckily for me, de Blob struck me as more of a platformer than a puzzle game, which means that I enjoyed it and didn’t get frustrated or upset. Spoilers ahead!
De Blob 2 was originally in 2011 by Blue Tongue Entertainment and THQ and was re-released at the end of February for the PS4 and Xbox One by Bitworks and THQ Nordic. De Blob 2 pick up where the original DS version of the game left off and goes from there. Like the first game, the INKT Corporation has drained all the color from Prisma City and its citizens and it’s up to the player to bring it all back to life. As in the first game, the lands are divided up into decent sized levels, leading Blob closer and closer to the villainous Comrade Black (whose name gives me some serious “communism is bad” vibes but I doubt that was intentional). Eventually, after a fight against a gigantic Comrade Black, he gets launched into space, Blob is victorious and everything goes back to the way it was.
The basic gameplay is the same as the first one. The player uses Blob to pick up and mix colors and paint all the grey and lifeless buildings in the city. Missions include timed races, recuing citizens and defeating enemies. New additions are a dash attack that smashes through walls and bad guys alike (though it’s expensive to use) and an upgrade system with boosts to paint capacity and a defensive shield. Powerups have also been added to the levels; a wrecking ball, a hazmat suit, a bomb that turns Blob into a black hole a regeneration power and an infinite paint points power that lets Blob use all 7 colors at the same time. The game also allows you to go inside special landmark buildings, which changes the perspective to a traditional 2D platformer. I didn’t get a chance to try it out, but a Super Mario Galaxy-esque co-op mode was added as well.
Most of what I encountered in de Blob 2 I really enjoyed. Like I mentioned, I’m more akin to platformers than puzzle games, and I’m happy that de Blob 2 puts more of an emphasis on the platforming element. I wouldn’t even mind a sandbox mode that just let me roll around and paint things pretty colors while listening to some nice jazz music. Speaking of jazz music, I really enjoyed how the soundtrack was incorporated into the actual gameplay. Splash some paint on a building and get a nice burst of sax or trumpet, save a Graydian and get a little trill for each one you run over.
It also goes without saying that the game is immensely colorful, despite most of it starting off as gray. Blob leaves a trail of color behind him wherever he rolls, and each building adds a splash of life to the environment. It’s a welcome relief from the mix of browns, grays and occasionally greens that make up a lot of games. Even modern, realistic games don’t have the same kind fun, happy feel to their color scheme as de Blob does. It genuinely perked me up.
The only real issue I had was that the movement controls (at least on the PS4) felt a little bit awkward. Both myself and my girlfriend had trouble with falling off narrow platforms or accidentally rolling into pools of ink. My girlfriend in particular, in the brief time that she played, struggled with one area at the very beginning trying to go across a balcony with buildings on one side and nothing keeping her from falling off on the other. She had to scoot Blob along bit by bit to keep from wrongly coloring buildings or from falling off and having to climb up to the platform again. Despite that, it was never frustrating enough to make me want to stop playing or throw my controller at the TV, which is a plus.
Overall, I enjoyed my time with de Blob 2. If I can I’ll try out the co-op mode in the future. It’s nice to know that there’s still simple platformer/puzzle games like this being released. It reminds me of the good old days of the Playstation One, with Spyro and Crash and Croc. It’s a good kind of nostalgia. I give de Blob 2 a 4/5.