THQ's Blue Tongue Software-developed Wii platformer de Blob has come a long way since we got our first look at it at last year's E3. The funky, Australian-developed title has gained a goofy story and a host of modes to complement its unique, paint-driven action. We got our hands on an updated version of the game that showed off all of the above to good effect.
The single-player game revolves around your role as a member of the Color Revolution, an underground movement that has formed to combat the evil INKT Corporation, who has unceremoniously showed up and oppressed everyone. You'll work your way through different locations, painting your heart out to free trapped citizens or give them a splash of color. Other members of the Color Revolution will be around to issue challenges that will earn you extra time on the clock as you go about liberating the masses in the mode's 10 levels. In addition to exploring the levels, you'll deal with obstacles such as gates that require you to have earned a certain number of points before you can pass through them and specific landmarks that require special Wii Remote-powered takedowns. In addition to the single-player story mode, we were able to try the Sprint mode, which is a series of roughly 20 challenges. You'll race against the clock to paint as many buildings as you can and get to the exit. You're awarded bronze, silver, or gold medals based on your performance.
Besides the single-player options, de Blob will feature a fun, breezy competitive mode wherein you'll take on up to three other opponents in four-player split-screen tests of skill. You'll find roughly six different modes that Blue Tongue is aiming to make pick-up-and-play. You'll be able to take on friends in a paint match wherein everyone has to paint as many structures in the world as they can. The Blob on the Run mode casts one player as "it" while the others are tasked with chasing it down. Team Blob is a group match wherein players test their paint skills in groups.
The game's control scheme requires both the Wii Remote and Nunchuk, and mixes gesturing along with some button pressing. The system works pretty well overall, although some camera issues make it a little tough to get your bearings at times. While you can use the D pad to manually swing the camera around, doing so can get a bit tricky when you're right in the middle of things. That said, the game is certainly fun and packs some appeal in spite of its rough spots.
The visuals in de Blob continue to tighten up and gain more personality. The environments we saw mixed some tightly packed areas with more open spaces and offered a good stage to play around on. The single-player story levels offered a more expansive and varied design as you advance through long levels broken up into different chunks. The sprint and multiplayer levels we played were set in more tightly laid-out areas to ensure maximum craziness when all four players are going at it. The game's cartoony design is simple and somewhat spare, but that changes up some once you start laying down color and freeing the oppressed masses. Color is put to good use in the game thanks to the bright color palette you fill in on your adventuring.
Based on what we played, de Blob is shaping up to offer a cool, quirky experience on the Wii. The painting mechanic is unique and the control for it all works pretty well, despite some rough edges. The additional single-player modes and multiplayer component seem as though they'll provide a fair amount of content. If you're looking for a unique platformer for the Wii, you'll want to keep an eye out for de Blob when it ships this fall. Look for more on the game in the coming months.