Before we begin this review in earnest, I want to talk to you, internet, about Playstation Minis. These cheap, tiny games can be compared to i-OS games or Android games. However, with one or two exceptions, all of them are total garbage not worth the meagre amount of money that is asked from them. The reason I mention Playstation Minis is that Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack (Mutant Blobs Attack from now on) looks and sounds like a Playstation Mini. Mutant Blobs Attack is the cheapest game available on the Playstation Vita, it has a funny sense of humour and a quirky art style; however, you would be very foolish to dismiss this game as nothing more than a Playstation Mini. This game is actually better than most of the full releases for the Vita, and for a $7.99 game such as this, that is a major feat. There is a reason that this game has been attaining coveted 9+ ratings from all the major game sites, and that is because it is just too damn good.
|Look how cute and cuddly he is!|
Mutant Blobs Attack was made by Drinkbox Studios, whose only other work was a prequel to this game called Tales from Space: About a Blob. The original game was generally well received, but not nearly as well as this game has been. The premise of the game is simple. You start out as a tiny blob that was created at a university and you absorb everything in your path as you grow larger and larger until you are absorbing skyscrapers. The concept is a nice spin on the old b-movie The Blob story, which had an ever growing blob threaten humanity. This time, you’re the blob and humanity doesn’t stand a chance.
|This, but with more platforming|
The b-movie aesthetic doesn’t stop at the premise of the game, however. It also heavily influences the art style. The blob itself is a cute, but perpetually angry little thing. The humans all look like some sort of mix between a redneck and a bag of racoons. On top of this are the public service announcement-style billboards that are littered across the game. These usually contain references ranging from duck and cover jokes to more nerdy references such as cakes potentially not being totally honest with you. This wacky sense of humour and the art style, which reenforces it, makes the game truly memorable.
|Cute AND angry.|
The gameplay is mostly platforming. You’ll generally be making your way across the stage avoiding death beams and other traps until you reach an eating zone. In these zones, the goal is to eat enough stuff so that you grow big enough to continue on the stage by absorbing the object blocking your path. This part of the game seems to owe a lot to the Katamari series, which is all about absorbing everything around you until you get big enough to absorb bigger things (It isn’t a deep game). This part also enforces the b-movie aesthetic as you continue to get larger throughout the game because of these segments, and enemy helicopters that may have been a problem at one point will soon be nothing more than lunch. One major game mechanic that sets this game apart from countless platformers is that the blob can use a magnetic force to attract, or repel himself from purple highlighted objects. This starts out simple, but becomes increasingly complex throughout the game, and it is a fantastic addition to the gameplay.
|Still angry, even when surrounded by NOMS. That is dedication right there.|
The point collecting aspect of the game is what gives it longevity. There are blue orbs scattered around the levels, as well as “food” and blob friends. Absorbing these things will give you points. If you are able to get enough points you can receive a silver or gold medal for the stage. There are two blob friends hidden in each stage and the ones you save are recorded. Points, gold medals and blob friends are primarily used for trophies; however there are also leaderboards so you can compare your score with others. For those who enjoy the old school arcade feel of leaderboards, this is the game for you. On top of all of the other ways to gain points, you will also gain bonus points for completing the levels quickly, adding a speed run aspect to score grabbing. Note that this bonus does not affect medals, and are only useful for getting better positions on the leaderboard. Speed running is a tradition in successful platformers and, barring a few levels, it works quite well here.
|He’s even angry when declaring his love!|
Then we get to the ancillary Vita controls, namely: the touchscreen, the back touchscreen and the gyroscope. Fortunately, the game does not use the mic. The touch screen is primarily used for dragging certain platforms around, and in generally responsive. Unfortunately, a lot of the locations you use the touch screen are the slowest points of the game, so they are a little boring. Nevertheless, they are good additions in general as they break up the game successfully. Next we move on to the use of the gyroscope. There are four (and part of one) levels that use the gyroscope as the main mechanic in order to move the blob around from an overhead perspective. It isn’t perfect, but so far, this has been the best use of the gyroscope I’ve seen and most of these levels are legitimately fun. The back touchscreen use, on the other hand, is not good. At certain times during the game, you will be able to fly, and you can boost by either touching the back touchscreen or pressing either L or R. The problem is that it is easy for your hand to slip onto the back touchscreen causing you to boost when you didn’t want to. For once, the problem with the back touchscreen is that it is too responsive, and that is a little weird.
|That Hipster Juice made him so sick he couldn’t finish his eyeball.
*Note the pop can. Canada for the win!
Altogether, Mutant Blobs Attack is an excellent game for any gamer. After all, platforming is probably the one genre that every gamer can enjoy, young and old, hipster and frat boy. The presentation and execution of the b-movie elements makes the the game memorable, far more so than a less quirky game would be with the same core mechanics. In truth, at $7.99 there is pretty much no reason at all for you not to own this game. It is fun in every regard, it is surprisingly long for its price, and its core gameplay is very, very solid. Overall, I would recommend it (Probably figured that out by now huh?).