De Blob Hands-On Update

This time we painted the town blue, green, purple, and brown in THQ's quirky upcoming Wii platformer.

Since the rampant success of Portal late last year, it's in vogue these days to tap the freshly creative minds of academia for your next game idea. In that vein, THQ and developer Blue Tongue are working on de Blob, an original mission-based platformer for the Wii that's built on the work and concepts of a group of Dutch art students. Those students aren't involved with the development of this retail game--Australia-based Blue Tongue is handling those duties solo--but the game's got a unique heart beating inside it all the same. We had another chance to try out a new build of de Blob (the first two levels, precisely) to see how well it's congealing as its first-quarter release date approaches.

As we've reported previously, you and your blob will be fighting against the INKT Corporation, a homogeneous legion of monochromatic fuddy-duddies who would love nothing more than to suck all the color and life out of Chroma City, reducing it to boring shades of gray. Your blob will take part in an exuberant resistance which will attempt to undermine those INKT goons in every possible way. To do this, you infuse your blob via power-ups with various colors of paint, and then colorize everything from buildings to trees to park benches with the color you've currently got enabled. You'll only find the primary colors ambling around Chroma City, so if you want to get orange, for instance, you'll need to run into yellow and then red. For green, try blue and yellow. You can even mix up a bunch of colors to get a nice brown going on.

De Blob's 10 levels are each broken into multiple sections, whereby you'll have to score a certain number of points to open up the gate that feeds into each new area. The levels also work on a timer, so you'll have to get busy earning points (and finding time-bonus pickups) in order to make it from one section to the next. Luckily, there are two primary ways to boost your score, and you can do them both at the same time. For one, simply colorizing the various buildings and other landscape effects of Chroma City will give you points, so you can bop around painting the town red (or whatever color) to rack up combos and get a higher score.

Chroma City is desperately in need of some color...

The game also offers open-world-style selectable missions that you can pick up for major points. There are four kinds of missions: painting specific buildings a certain color; racing through a preset course; sabotaging various INKT structures by blitzing them with a large amount of paint; and fighting against the company's monochrome gestapo. We only got to try out missions in the first two levels, which double as a tutorial for de Blob's core mechanics, but we saw a video of later levels that showed off much more complex environments and timing-based platforming scenarios, so it looks like these missions will get much more involved in the later parts of the game.

We found de Blob's controls quite easy to pick up after just a few minutes. Your blob zooms around easily with the Nunchuk's analog stick, and he (it?) also turns on a dime, so it's easy to maneuver around Chroma City's trickier nooks and crannies. That's especially useful in situations where there are hazards like water (which will wash all your paint off) or ink (which will slow you and eventually kill you) standing in your way. Jumping is a simple flick of the Wii Remote, and you can control the camera and lock onto enemy and environmental targets with the C and Z buttons, respectively. The frame rate was smooth throughout our demo and the game has a clean art style with a good contrast between the initially drab environments and their enlivened, colorized versions.

...and de blob is just the ball of goo for the job.

One of the game's most compelling aspects is its surprisingly funky soundtrack. The gimmick here is that the amount and exuberance of the music you'll hear is directly tied to how much of the game world you've colorized, and there are specific instrument samples that are actually keyed to the colorization process. So you'll hear little drum fills or guitar riffs as you bring color to particular structures and areas that will then segue into a more consistent, livelier beat. It's a subtle effect that gives you a little extra sensory feedback on what you're doing within the level, in addition to the splashes of color flying every which way.

De Blob is looking like it may well turn out to be a unique action game for the duration of its 10-level starting campaign, though we're a little concerned about the game's potential longevity beyond that. Luckily, there will be some follow-up modes to unlock after you beat the game, such as a free paint that lets you roam around and paint each level without the threat of a timer, and the "paint the town" mode, which will go the other direction and give you a more restrictive time limit and a mandate to clear 100 percent of challenges on each level. De Blob is due for release this quarter, so look for more soon.

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Discussion

43 comments
Shattered_Dead
Shattered_Dead

BullOfRage, there is a gaame like that, it's Katamari Damacy. I personally think that this game is needed for innovation.

BullOfRage
BullOfRage

I think this looks about as fun as watching paint dry.......get it. I think a better game would be if a small blob was let loose in the city and ate everything smaller then it like bacteria and stuff but as it grows it eats bigger things like animals and people and cars and stuff, until it has eaten everything

smithers43
smithers43

honestly the game seems kinda weird and stupid but SOOOOOOOOOOOO COOL i am looking forward 2 it :) waiting for the reveiws

Rect_Pola
Rect_Pola

I'm really excited about how weirdly intresting this looks. If it can get any better than this, I might pre-order.

Ungdi
Ungdi

Looks like they expanded the gameplay, i've played the pc version and the gameplay is shallow, but the wii version seems much improved!

tikiz
tikiz

This game looks so stupid... But at the same time it also looks like a lot of fun. I'm waiting for reviews.

Dudeman480
Dudeman480

Looks a little different. Definately waiting for the reviews tho

N1njaSquirrel
N1njaSquirrel

This looks like fun. I just hope that killing the INKT won't be too hard/tiresome, otherwise the game will just get tedious. like it though.

Dark_Knight6
Dark_Knight6

Looks interesting but I'll have to wait for some reveiws first.

BontraXenderKyl
BontraXenderKyl

very intersting ..... but as well the last "intersting" games that released wasn't so good....

xanderenigma
xanderenigma

Looks as if it could be an interesting game, i said INTERESTING. how fun it will be all depends on how fuin you find it is to paint walls i guess? Im going tow ait for the reviews!

guertt
guertt

the graphic feel like the blob is floating in the air...

Skuad_Knight
Skuad_Knight

Read the IGN preview, it's much more complete and left me desiring this game a lot :)

scottyskater77
scottyskater77

Sounds pretty cool, but will it be worth 50 bucks? I'll wait for the reviews.

IIHit-and-RunII
IIHit-and-RunII

This game looks interesting :) I hope it is as good and fun as it looks.

IIHit-and-RunII
IIHit-and-RunII

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

VRN-KingS-
VRN-KingS-

Multiplayer Graffiti Mode could turn this into a Wifi Game for the Gods. Well not that good but it could extend its longevity, the Original is too short lived. But saying that its like Polychromatic Funk Monkey, its one of those you can just pick up and play so the replay value is great.

apjo
apjo

I've played the Dutch original too. Extremely creative and interesting, but boring after a while. If I'm not mistaken it won a few awards at the IGF, but in order to make this title commercial...it's longevity needs to be worked on or else people will be paying $50 for a only a few hours worth of entertainment.

City2city5
City2city5

I remember playing the original on a while back and it didn't last that long. I hope they don't just directly port the mechanics and stuff, because I doubt that it could hold my interest for very long. If they do make it more in-depth, then I'm sure this would be awesome.

theKSMM
theKSMM

Yup, sounds like a Wii game... I'm glad that developers of Wii games have toned down the motions needed to control their games. Seemed like early titles required you to be twirling the remote around your head to get anything done.

meetroid8
meetroid8

Wow. This game looks very impressive.

RTRGRZA
RTRGRZA

Reminds me of Katamari Damacy.

Cablestein
Cablestein

Played the free version on PC... sounds like it's a pretty close port for the game mechanics. Knowing that, I don't know how much replay value this game has... especially for full price. If they come up with some multiplayer where you try to change the players into other colours or something, then this could be better.

BadSushi
BadSushi

Wow the last time I read on this I just thought, huh intereseting, now after reading and watching the game play it seems like its coming togather and it might be one of those sleeper hits like Zak and Wiki...

Noirkitty
Noirkitty

Original and interesting - i like ;)

glitchgeeman
glitchgeeman

I gotta say, if they can pull off the controls and give this game a little more replay value, it could shape up to be a pretty interesting game.

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

It looks really fun although I am concerned about its depth.

DFTricks
DFTricks

The demo was a lot of fun, cant want to play the acutal game on the wii. I just hope the controls are good.

g0b0s0x
g0b0s0x

Sort of a Wii coloring book!!

20fox05
20fox05

It looks really good! I'm looking forward to this game.

Foolz3h
Foolz3h

Grey isn't boring. It's stylish!

Nintendo_Man
Nintendo_Man moderator

After the success of Puzzle Quest, it is good to see another Australian developer doing De Blob.

Vexx88
Vexx88

Finally some more info