We've had many opportunities to see THQ's upcoming game de Blob, where you play as a somewhat mischievous-looking gelatinous blob whose purpose is to bring color back to Chroma City by splashing paint everywhere because the evil Inkt Corporation has sucked out all the life--and primary colors--from the environment. This gooey hero is able to absorb different colors of paint and leave its mark on rooftops, palm trees, and anything else that needs a bit of color. As de Blob finally approaches its release date, we had a chance to play through the multiplayer modes to see how our roly-poly friend fares against some competition.
If you haven't been following de Blob's progress, it's a platformer in a 3D world where you control de Blob with the Nunchuk and waggle the Wii Remote to jump. De Blob is able to slide and jump from wall to wall with a bit of practice. In multiplayer matches, an important skill is to be able to slam your opponent by holding the Z button to lock on and then wiggling the remote to jump. Using the B button will help you defend yourself against offensive jellies should you need to.
There are a total of nine multiplayer challenges, but when you break them down, there are actually three different game types across four locations. The first mode we played was Paint Match, in which the goal is to paint as many buildings as you can and steal points from your opponents by painting over their structures. If you can paint over landmarks and billboards, you'll score some extra points as well. Stomping on your opponents will also earn you points, and you'll force them to have to get more paint. If your goal isn't to win, you can certainly be annoying and simply go around stomping on other blobs so that they have to grab more paint. There were four locations to play this mode in: the streets, the sewers, the coliseum, and the tower.
The second mode was Blob on the Run, in which only one blob can paint at a time. When the match begins, the first blob that grabs the paint will be marked with a crown, and you can keep painting as long as you don't get slammed by an opponent or somehow manage to fall into sewage and turn black. If you do fall into sewage, someone else can pick up where you left off by grabbing some paint. You'll have to chase down the marked blob and win back your right to paint. You have to remember that you can use the B button to block, because your opponents will be coming after you constantly.
The final mode we got to play was Blob Race. In this mode, you can paint each building only once. Buildings that can be painted are marked by flashing arrows so you know which ones to shoot for. Since you can't repaint, the only way to win is to get to the buildings first and be ruthless by slamming opponents so they have to recollect paint. Depending on the map that you're on, sometimes it's difficult to even find something to paint so you'll have to be fast and sneaky.
The street and sewer maps are available in all three modes, but coliseum is available only in Paint Match and Blob Race, and the tower map is available only in Paint Match. Paint Match was probably the most fun out of the three, since you can paint almost anything you come across. The other modes required a bit more finesse in terms of controlling your blob. The street is a much more confined map where you can bounce around on rooftops and scurry between the buildings. The sewer feels much more open, but there are also gullies that you can find yourself in and switches to raise and lower the sewage. The coliseum and tower areas have a lot more height which makes it feel like there is more surface area to paint. However you need watch where you roll because there are switches that can activate and deactivate spikes along platforms.
It would have been nice to see more modes, maps and online play, but despite how much fun you can have slapping paint on walls solo, being able to paint with friends and stomp them is definitely more entertaining. Get ready to bring out that inner Picasso when de Blob is released on September 22.