Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack (or TFS: MBA, as all the cool kids call it) is a pretty straightforward game. You control a blob, I don't think he, she or it is given a name at any point, but for the purposes of this review I shall call him Steve... Steve DeBlob. Though as far as I know he isn't any relation to the blob from De Blob, that platforming, paint-'em-up classic, though I could be wrong. Instead, Steve DeBlob is a translucent, green blob with one eye who rolls through various 2D environments overcoming obstacles and gathering up ever bigger items to increase his size as he exacts his revenge against his human captors, and ultimately humanity as a whole. Sort of like a cross between Katamari Damacy, the underrated Puddle and that movie where the guy goes mental and kills everybody... you know the one I mean, right?
Both the platforming and puzzles are fairly easy affairs to begin with, maybe even a little tedious in their initial simplicity, but the difficulty level is judged almost perfectly as it ramps up at a steady and satisfying pace over the twenty-four levels. New elements of gameplay are gradually added to the mix, like the ability to move select platforms around with the cursor or being able to attract and repel Mr. DeBlob from certain structures, which nicely expands the range and complexity of puzzles that are thrown at you. But still, with little punishment for failure and a very forgiving checkpoint system, the majority of players won't be massively challenged for the most part, except maybe if you're a completionist intent on collecting everything, unlocking achievements or troubling the leaderboards, and depending on which of these players you are you'll likely make your way to the end in about four to six hours.
Bonus kudos has to go to the end game, though. Most of the time your reward for completing a game will be a fancy cutscene wrapping up the story, but here it's done a little differently. There are six chapters to tackle, with the first five incrementally increasing in difficulty, but by the sixth it shifts gears and becomes much easier while focusing everything on a different aspect rather than challenge... FUN. By the beginning of chapter six you've more or less beaten the game since you've made your way through the hardest parts and have essentially become a badass that can just stomp and roll your way through the stages with relatively little effort. So instead of having to endure one final, ultimate obstacle to prove your mastery of the game, your reward in place of a cutscene is to enjoy your power as you decimate everything in your path. It's a great way to end your time with any title and I really wish more games would follow this design, especially with the very last stage being a particularly great pay-off for all your work, and with the cherry on top being the sweet asking price, there's little excuse to not go and make friends with Steve DeBlob right now.
Posted: December 14th, 2013