June 11, 2009A Boy and His Blob: Trouble on Blobolonia
David Crane, creator of the legendary Pitfall!, brings us the unique game about a boy and his faithful pet. A shape-shifting, jellybean eating, alien blob. Who didn’t have one of those as a kid? It seems there’s trouble on Blobert’s home planet and it’s up to our titular duo to stop it. How does one save a planet of blobs? Why by collecting treasue and buying vitamins of course.
Blobert: The boy you play as is pretty worthless. His abilities are limited to whistling and tossing jellybeans. Good thing the blob is around to bail him out.
Jellybeans: An innovative gameplay element. Each flavor of jellybean turns the blob into something different. These are easily remembered mnemonically. (Example: Tangerine = Trampoline or Cola = Bubble)
Length: This game is two levels. Earth and Blobolonia. That’s it. Without a save feature they couldn’t make it super long, but two short levels is an insult.
Difficulty: Other than a bit of trial and error this game is a cakewalk. Most enemies bounce, time your movements and you can move about unscathed.
Graphics: I realize they only had 8-bits to work with, but man, these are some poor pixelated sprites. The backgrounds look fairly nice comparatively.
Soundtrack: The exact same song plays over and over. It’s annoying to say the least.
Slide: The boy slides a few steps after you stop running. I don’t really know what the point of this is other than to annoy you and make you fall off ledges.
A Boy and His Blog is an innovative game that falls just short. Using the blob’s various forms to solve puzzles is unique and well executed but there’s not much too it. Once you’ve beaten it, there’s really no reason to return to it. Ideally, you would have had to budget your jellybeans and find the most effective way to traverse the level, but the jellybeans are so plentiful there’s not really a reason to be judicious. The storyline is complete nonsense in a good way. An evil emperor with a huge sweet tooth eating the population’s candy supply? I like to think it’s a parable for consumerism run amok. Deep, Mr. Crane, Deep.