Tuesday, August 7, 2012

REVIEW - Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack!!!

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.

It's a lean game, with around twenty levels, and it does force motion controls on you from time to time - but fortunately, they were no impass to a gamer as entirely alergic to touchscreens and tilting as I am.  They permit you to flip switches and manipulate objects in the environment - but crucially never really demand you multitask between analog controls and motion in order to win the day.

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. 


  1. Is it terrible that watching you play this game for a few minutes the other night made me want a Vita? Oh bank account, I am sorry for what I am considering doing to you...

  2. Flying girls and Rayman Origins? No sale. Sentient, carnivorous jellyfish?

    Now we're talkin'.

  3. Gravity Rush (I assume that's the flying girls) was beautiful but not really something I'd play and I have Rayman Origins for the PS3 so there wasn't much of a draw for me to want to play it on the Vita. Just think, I'll get a Vita and you can recommend a whole other set of games for me to try!