Roll around, eat objects, grow bigger. Roll around, eat bigger objects, grow bigger. No, that's not a description of Katamari, but the Vita title Mutant Blobs Attack. On the surface, the concept might sound similar to Namco's beloved series, but once players delve into DrinkBox's PSN title they'll find a game teeming with enough depth and charm to stand on its own.
Mutant Blobs Attack tells the story of a nameless blob - we'll just call him Blob - who is stuck in the "Humane Blob Torture Research Center". Day in and day out his brethren are used in scientific experiments, until one day Blob breaks them out. Players then assume the roll of Blob, rolling around the world eating almost everything in their path.
The story and theme of the game are reminiscent of B-movie science fiction films and old 90's cartoons, packed in with some black humor and internet memes. What this boils down to is a game that is filled with enough charm to have players crack a smile more than once.
None of that really matters though unless the gameplay holds up, and thankfully Drinkbox Studios has created one enjoyable game. There is a surprising amount of depth to the title, as it deviates from the pitfalls of relying solely on platforming. Using the left and right triggers, players can activate Blob's magnetic abilities, to either repel or attract himself towards metal surfaces - these surfaces are marked with a purple aura so players never have to delve into a guessing game of whether or not they can use the magnetic abilities on a particular surface.
Mutant Blobs Attack also makes use of the Vita's touch controls, including the oft-mentioned multi touch capabilities. Players can move marked objects by sliding their finger(s) across the Vita's touch screen. In some cases objects might need to be tapped to make them change direction. The touch controls are very responsive, and as the game progresses the touch sections are used for some very deep puzzles. Players might have to time taps properly to avoid being crushed by machinery, or move and rotate objects to try and deflect lasers in order to reach secret areas.
The game also has rocket sections, wherein Blob floats in the air and players can essentially move him wherever they so choose. If one finds Blob is moving to slow, or they want him to fly in a straight line, they can hold down either the left or right trigger to give him a speed boost. This can also be controlled by pressing the rear touch pad, however the option can be turned off if the player chooses - lest they risk accidently touching the back of the Vita and having Blob go flying toward lethal laser traps.
The game's single player is divided into six chapters, each with a handful of levels peppered throughout - the number of levels in each chapter varies from three to five. In addition to these levels, there's also "Tilt-a-Blob" - mini games that utilize the Vita's sixaxis controls in order to move Blob around little mazes. The sixaxis controls can be kind of annoying, especially if gamers try to play lying down. The Tilt-a-Blob sections don't really offer the same level of fun as the main story chapters, and thankfully the sixaxis controls only permeate the main campaign in the final level - though it's very much worth it considering the game's ending.
Quite possibly one of the biggest draws in Mutant Blobs Attack is trying to challenge high scores. Players will receive a bronze, silver of gold medal at the end of the level depending on how many objects they've eaten and how many Blob Friends they've found. There are two Blob Friends in each level, and some of them require true mastery of the Vita's hardware to collect. Once players complete a level their score will get posted on the game's leaderboards, and it becomes really addictive to try and beat one's own high score. Time also plays a factor, though it is annoying that the game doesn't have a "restart level" option in the menu. Players will have to quit out to the level selection screen if they want to restart.
Mutant Blobs Attack isn't an easy game, levels can be beaten quite quickly if one isn't aiming for a high score, but players who want to collect everything will see Blob die quite often. It's a game filled with depth, humor and an irrevocable charm that's hard to pinpoint. The experience is by no means perfect, but gamers will be hard pressed to find a PSN title as enjoyable as this, especially early in the Vita's life. The game can probably be completed in just a few hours, but those few hours are smile inducing and addiction filled, making Mutant Blobs Attack a title that any Vita owner will be proud to have in their library.
Mutant Blobs Attack is available now for the PlayStation Vita, through the PlayStation Store.
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