Players: 1 Player Game | Genre: Platform
Release Date: 09/22/08
While most of the games we looked at this E3 had been previously announced, De Blob was one title in the minority that seemingly came out of nowhere. Not only is it an original IP designed from the ground-up specifically for the Wii (with another version bound for the DS later on) by developer Blue Tongue, but it’s actually a surprisingly inventive and original concept
The game’s story sees the world’s color being drained by the Ink Beat Cops, who are trying to turn the world into a monotone totalitarian society. Enter De Blob, coming in at the other side of the cartoony political spectrum as the anarchist, seeking to foil the Ink Beat Cops’ plans and splatter color across the landscape. Um... and as far as I can tell, that’s about as deep as the plot gets. Color good. Black, white and grey bad.
The gameplay aims for the same kind of area occupied by Katamari Damacy, being a quirky title where much of the fun is just getting around. However, in this case, you’re playing as a gooey blob, absorbing buckets of paint and splattering them around as you bounce across town, leaving trails of colorful goo as you slide along the ground and splashing buildings with a coat of whatever color you happen to be at the moment whenever you bump into them.
Players control De Blob by moving the nunchuck’s thumbstick, and using the Wii remote to bounce around, locking onto enemies and objects to pounce on them (landing on top of them with a satisfying “plop”). De Blob’s colors and size depend on which type of paint you’ve absorbed, and how much of it. Colors work off of the color wheel, so jumping on a yellow bucket and then moving to a red one will make you orange (with everything you touch changing in the same way). This looks to figure into the game’s strategy when you find some buildings that need to be painted by a certain color, and often you must be the appropriate size as well.
The game’s aesthetic is what will undoubtedly attract many people to it. The black and white world makes De Blob and his colorful vandalism really stand out, and even though, as with most Wii titles, the game isn’t graphically impressive from a technical standpoint, it’s overloaded with style. The game’s developers have tied the music into the gameplay as well, by giving each color its own sound, so as you bring your own unique color back to the world, you bring your own unique sound as well. Or at least so I’m told – E3 is hardly the best place to gauge how a game sounds.
At the moment, the gameplay seems to be somewhat simple, and hopefully by the time it’s released it’ll get some challenges that are a bit more involved than “paint this building purple”. We’ve been reassured that the game’s primary challenge will take the form of a race against the clock, giving the game a good old-fashioned arcadey feel, although we’ve yet to put that notion to the test. However, assuming the folks working on this game do a proper job building on the fun and inventive foundation they’ve created, De Blob could very well be the next big surprise in the Wii’s lineup.
De Blob looks slick and plays interestingly enough. However, the version we saw at E3 seems very simple, and we’re really hoping this colorful puddle of goo gets a little depth by the time it comes out, or else its wonderful premise and gameplay mechanics may be wasted. However, if they do manage to give the game some depth and replay value, this could quite possibly be the next big thing on the Wii.