de Blob first came to live as a simple looking freeware PC title created by university students in the Netherlands. After it got some notice on the Internet, THQ picked up the rights to the game for console versions and later decided to launch the game on the Nintendo Wii. And yet, while THQ has their name front and center on the box, de Blob was worked on by Blue Tongue Entertainment. Looking at Blue Tongue's development history and seeing the utter crap they've put out in the past as licensed games might scare you off from ever touching de Blob, but don't let their past fool you: the Australian studio has put together a well-developed title.
In de Blob, Chroma City and the Raydians who live there come under attack from the evil INKT Corporation. Their goal is to create the perfect kind of society, based upon a model of a totally colorless world. The end result is not only the loss of color, but a loss of spirit, as the once-vibrant Raydians become the boring, dull Graydians, ready to do the task work of INKT. However, a few Raydians escape, calling themselves the Color Underground and promising to return color to their once proud city. In the midst of all this, Blob, who just happens to be relaxing nearby, sees all this take place and jumps into action to save the day. It's a simple storyline, to say the least, but Blue Tongue has added in several humorous cut-scenes that really help explain the plight of the Raydians and give a good chuckle while they're at it.
The game has a few basic modes, but the one you'll be playing in the most is the level-based story mode. The levels themselves are not designed with much complexity; there's a lot of room to move around and explore, and a lot of things to paint. The level structure is pretty straightforward: you reach a certain goal or complete a certain challenge, usually either beating a boss or achieving a specific score in a specified amount of time, and the next section opens up for you. While that aspect is decidedly linear, the freedom you have to explore is enough to distract you from that fact and make you feel like you're playing in a much larger world. The game is also just the right length, featuring 10 very fun and challenging levels to play through.
In de Blob, game play focuses around painting the town red. Or orange. Or brown. Or purple. You get the point. Blob starts out as a clear, water-like ball, unable to affect the world around him with much effect. However, by smashing Paintbots wandering around the city, he can collect one of three primary colors, or mix any of the three together to create secondary colors, which Blob can then use to paint the various parts of the city. The painting process itself is simple, as you only have to bump into an object to paint it. It's enjoyable in that you have total control over Blob as you roll around each level, but it's also annoying in that you can accidentally paint over something without intending to, causing you to have to go back and find the right color to paint over your mistake. Each Paintbot gives Blob 10 Paint points, and each time Blob rolls around into something, he loses a point. Water removes any color and points Blob has on him, returning him to his original state, while other pitfalls like ink and spikes hinder his performance by taking away points or making him unable to paint. It seems so simple — and being derived from a freeware PC game, that makes sense — that it sometimes borders on the monotonous. Most of the missions have the same basic structure, albeit with different twists thrown in here and there to provide challenge. Game play is really the one area where the title is a mixed bag, as the simplicity works well, but there needs to be more to it.