Blob 2 first appeared in 2011, but it still holds up well within the 3D platformer genre seven years later. Part of this has to do with the gameplay of the game, which makes you roll as the main Blob and find colored ink to absorb his body. Then you reintroduce these colors into a black and white world under the control of an evil dictator. Many games have included similar color-based mechanics, but Blob 2 does this with competition and a degree of creativity. The challenges you face are, in principle, simple but complex in maneuvering. You need to think about what color it should be and how much paint it needs while avoiding water fountains that can completely erase its color, not to mention dealing with black ink enemies and traps that can cause significant damage.
Each level is a sizeable open world with a main quest thread running through it. A time limit for completing the main mission adds a degree of tension and also encourages the player to explore, as coloring entire building blocks or breaking boxes can generate additional minutes on the clock. When time is up, you can take advantage of the game's competent objective system to quickly stomp on a swath of enemies. It gives the game a nice mix of tough jumps and weird moves that never fails to perform.
It also helps that the game allows the features to sneak in enough to keep things interesting without being overwhelming. Compared to many platform contemporaries, none of the additional features interfere with the basic game cycle in a frustrating way. Boosters range from timed invincibility and unlimited ammo to more creative perks, like regenerating paint levels and a timed detonation that briefly turns Blob into a black hole.
The enemies come in the form of an army of black ink, and they also come in with a creative spectrum of designs. Each type has a different level of protection and defeat methods, which means you can't run at full speed all the time. Most of the frustrating moments in the game come from forgetting to slow down and patiently plan things, which is a testament to how much fun zooming around the map can make.
At the end of each level, you can choose to drop or vacuum the remaining challenges and collectibles without the pressure of a time limit, alleviating some of the frustration of chasing the game's various trinkets. The post-mission challenges are perfectly fine, though perhaps there could have been a flash of creativity between levels here. Almost every stage makes you free trapped citizens, rejuvenate trees, break boxes, and paint billboards. All of these activities are fun enough, but the final stages get a little tedious, especially as the stage worlds get bigger and more difficult to navigate.
You can also earn rankings at each stage based primarily on the amount it collects along the way, which is a good reason to return later. Unfortunately, once you have completed one stage and moved on to another, you will find yourself at the beginning of any level you return to. The game's generous update system alleviates some frustration; Assuming you've collected enough inspirational collectibles along the way, there will be an improved Blob to the point where the first few levels will be very easy to beat.
The game has a small but perfectly decent local multiplayer component that would easily allow parents to play alongside children. A semi-competitive mode puts two Blobs on a map with a series of challenges not unlike those found in the main campaign; They can work together, but ultimately the Blob with the highest score wins the game. The most interesting aspect is the cooperative available in the campaign. A second controller can drop during a level and essentially provide air support thanks to a floating point on the screen. The second player can hit the bad guys, grab objects and break boxes just by hovering the viewfinder over them and pressing "A", although they must also hit the paint sources to keep their ammunition full. The game becomes surprisingly intense towards the final third, though never frustratingly. Still, it is useful to have a wing man on board to take down some of the most frustrating enemies along the way. The only slight complaint here is that the second player's point is incredibly small. If you play cooperatively with children, it may be best to let them control the Big Blob while the adult squints to choose the most complex types of enemies.
The audio-visual design of this game is perfect for the tone and really elevates it above similar titles from the previous decade. This is largely due to how it ties in with the game. While scrolling in unpainted areas, the palette is muted and sterile, and the music has a somber minimalist tone. Once Blob has pierced through and set the locals free with vibrant splashes of paint on their buildings, the music picks up pace and the game's open spaces take on their own color, as well as colorful flowers and cute animals sprout.
The soundtrack is very cleverly and subtly adapted, as Blob often skates between monochromatic and techno-colored spaces as he goes from A to B, and it's a joy to hear his rich mix of light jazz, funk, and salsa. Not many 3D platform games like this can escape the need to include a full cast of deeply irritating characters, but even here de Blob dodges a bullet. Our hero's friends are far from complex characters, but they are charmingly silly in their own way, and their chatty tones are too subtle to become irritating. While the story is too simplistic to be memorable, even the scenes between levels are enjoyable. They usually involve a funny incident with the bad guys who present the next challenges. It's almost exactly like watching the Minions, so if you can tolerate the little yellow boys you shouldn't have a problem with the Inkies in de Blob.
However, de Blob does not escape unscathed. Our hero's quick lock is satisfying in most sequences, but sometimes it's hard to target objects while in the air, which is a common puzzle setup in otherwise well-designed 2D platforming sections of the game. The difficulty of the game is wobbly too. There are exceptionally long gaps between checkpoints, and while the game is perhaps a little too easy, it is also very easy to accidentally hit the wrong surface and quickly get a finished game, sending you a considerable distance that seems like too great a punishment for a little mistake. Still, the only aspect of 3D platformer games that usually has one pulling one's hair is trying to argue with the camera; Fortunately, Blob 2 has smooth control and rarely takes that control away from the player, which means you can solve your next move without fighting the game itself.
Of course, this is all essentially a review of a 2011 game. A game like Blob 2, with its simple textures and bright stripes of basic colors, doesn't benefit too much from a graphical update. You will find a very cool game with great gameplay, but when you have a long session of the game you will feel that it is too repetitive. The game It is available in digital format, through the Switch eShop, weighs 3.2 GB and costs € 29.99.