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Posted by drew10 on Mar 1, 2011
Tales From Space: About a Blob (Drink Box Studios – PS3)

Tales From Space: About a Blob (Drink Box Studios – PS3)

Earth is under attack. Blobs from outer space have invaded and one in particular is about to get serious in the first Tales From Spaaaaacccceeee!!!

Created by Canadian developers Drink Box Studios, Tales From Space: About A Blob sees you take control of a blob shaped ET who has crashed on Earth. The thing everybody knows about Blobs from outer-space is that they need to consume all manner of stuff to grow bigger and become more powerful, everybody knows that right? Well, this is the basic premise of About a Blob, positioning yourself over various object will seem them absorbed and your blob will grow. You need to grow a certain amount in each level until you are big enough to absorb a cork that blocks your path to the next area. As you start your blob is only big enough to absorb nuts and bolts, however later you can move on to humans, cows and even larger items!

The early levels in About a Blob see you stuck in a laboratory trying to escape. The levels are pretty standard affairs with platforms that need to be jumped upon and switches that need to be hit in order to reach your goals. However as the levels progress turrets and rocket positions will try to stop your blob in its, er, slime? Luckily, any objects that have been sucked up by your blob can be fired out as weapons against the anti-blob defences.

As the game progresses your blob will develop new skills such as magnetism and electricity. The magnetism will allow your blob to stick to any metal objects such as pipes but also repel when the magnetism is reversed allowing you to jump much further than before. You can also use the magnetism to move objects otherwise out of reach. The electricity skill allows you to drain, store and use electrical charge to power machines and doors. Both of these skills are put to the test as the game quickly sets about ensuring all puzzles are designed around them.

Graphically About a Blob is bold and bright and is full of humour with funny posters and billboards dotted around with anti-blob slogans and other funny comments. The style is very reminiscent of Micro Machines V3 with its sense of scale and fun. When in the lab you can see characters walking around in the background and these are members of the Drink Box team making cunning cameos into the game. In fact all of the characters from the blob itself to the humans and especially the cows are all drawn with lots of charm and good humour.

The audio isn’t much to write home about with ample but uninspiring sound effects and some sci-fi flavoured music that repeats just that little too often. That said, it is of a nature that you can tune out to it and it still provides a decent backdrop to the games style.

About a Blob does have another trick up its sleeve, (Do blobs have sleeves?) and that is co-op gameplay. Yes now you and Mrs blob can take on the world as the game becomes a tale of two blobs. This enables the entire game to be played simultaneously locally by two players. Although there are no parts of the levels which actually require two-players to complete.

As everyone knows the main problem with controlling an amorphous blob is that it is very pliable, right? This can lead to some frustrating moments as the controls well, control like a blob, this makes for some inaccurate jumping and landing. The game also suffers from repetition, whilst the added powers bring slight variation they also bring with them a load of puzzles designed purely for those abilities. This is to the detriment of the initial premise of absorbing items to grow bigger.

Overall though Tales From Space: About a Blob is a decent début title for Drink Box and one worth a look.  The co-op mode does not really add much to the gameplay and certain parts of levels could have done with requiring actual cooperation to complete. Still this is good platform fun with decent sense of humour that still somehow doesn’t quite hit the highs that the early levels suggest.



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