de Blob is an innovative-looking Wii platform/action adventure game which sees you controlling a paint-filled blob of jelly. Yes, you read that correctly. The game itself has an interesting history, having first been developed as a free PC game by a group of Dutch game development students before being quickly snapped up by THQ, which then gave it to Aussie studio Blue Tongue to transform it into a full-fledged console game.
The main character in the game is the aforementioned de Blob, a cute, squishy, jelly-like creature who can retain paint within his body and splash colour on any object he touches. The story sees de Blob going up against the nefarious INKT Corporation and its agents, who have stripped all colour from the world, apparently because they believe that colour is a crime.
All of the game's levels start off as monochrome environments which de Blob has to brighten up by bouncing off walls, buildings, and streets, leaving whatever colour is currently imbued within his body. The city level we played in our recent hands-on experience contained many short buildings and wide streets, and it looked quite impressive in the beginning as a grey landscape completely devoid of any colour. That is, until we hit the town with de Blob. de Blob starts off being colourless himself (or herself, or itself, or whatever), and you have to destroy various leech bots scattered around the city in order to fill his body with ink. These leech bots are what have been sucking the colour out of the world, and they come in three flavours: red, blue, and green. If you destroy a red bot, de Blob turns red, and if you destroy a blue one, de Blob turns blue, and so on. de Blob can also go outside these primary colours by mixing which bots to destroy. If de Blob is already red, for example, destroying a blue bot next will turn him purple. Unfortunately, the combinations seem to be limited to mixing two colours. You can't hit three blue bots and one green to get a nice shade of aqua, for example.
Plenty of de Blob's missions involve restoring colour to the environment, such as painting a building or an entire area in red. As this is a Wii game, the console's motion-sensing technology is used, although from our hands-on it seemed quite simple and intuitive. de Blob's movement is controlled using the analog stick on the Nunchuk, with a quick flick on the Wii Remote making him jump or, if he's targeting an enemy using the Z button, making him squash-attack bad guys. Colouring a building involves simply jumping against it, although you'll need to avoid being hit by enemies, because any strike will cause de Blob to lose colour. The game's developers also tell us that other missions will involve checkpoint-style races or simply having to destroy a set number of enemies within an area.
From our brief hands-on time with de Blob, the game looks to be shaping up as a fun title which will probably win many fans thanks to its sheer quirkiness. The art style is clean and extremely cute, and there are lots of nice graphical touches strewn about the game's environments (such as the paint trail de Blob leaves in his wake). The Wii version of de Blob is set to be released during THQ's 2009 fiscal year.