A splash of color.
Bringing back old games is nothing new. THQ Nordic though seems to want to relive the past with games that make me ask “really?” Their latest effort is de Blob for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, which is a remaster of a Wii title from 2008. Now don’t get me wrong, de Blob is a charming title. In fact it was one of the better Wii exclusives back when it released. Still, it feels oddly-timed to release it now.
The mechanics of de Blob tug on my childhood strings. This game is essentially a coloring book turned into a character action game. Players take on the persona of a blob that can absorb color and paint the world. As one would imagine there is a lot of color splashed around, and seeing it now in HD it looks fantastic. The art style lends itself well to returning to.
Platforms: XB1 (reviewed), PS4, PC
Price I’d Pay: $19.99
While the game play is aimed at my child, the underlying tones of the story focus more on my adult side. Blob is part of an underground resistance called Color Underground. The main goal is to bring color back to the city, which has been devoid of vibrancy. It has plenty of underlying themes that kids digging in will simply look past. The ideas of oppressing art and expression are abound and kind of weird when I stepped back and thought about it.
Each level in de Blob is on a timer, which is usually a big no-no for me. However, here it never feels aggressive. In fact once completed, each level unlocks a time trial of sorts for speed runs. I recommend not worrying about that until finishing the game. Some of those par times are brutal. Tasks include coloring 100% of the world and more. It really breaks up the monotony, but the core mechanic works so well it never becomes a chore to do. Chalk it up to my want to color, but there is something satisfying about mixing colors and creating a world of my artwork.
In addition to the single player there is also a multiplayer mode. This is essentially a stripped down Splatoon. Up to four players work to color as much of the city as possible. It is a neat distraction for 30 minutes, but nothing that will be talked about afterwards.
Presentation wise this game shines. As I mentioned the art style lends itself to a remaster perfectly. The colors really pop in full HD. The biggest stand out though is the soundtrack. While the tunes are a bit on the weird side, the way they change up depending on the color I was using is fantastic. It made me experiment more with the game play, something a soundtrack has never accomplished.
De Blob is a solid title that feels good to return to. Why they remastered the original as opposed to the sequel seems like a weird choice, but for those that never had a Wii it is a good pickup. It might get swallowed during this time of year, but I recommend giving it a look once things settle down a bit.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.