Blobster, a new physics-based puzzler developed by Divine Robot and published by Chillingo, is now available from the app store. A charming platformer with a cute main character, intuitive controls, and great level variety, Blobster should easily appeal to gamers of all shapes and sizes.
- Fun cartoony graphics and great level design
- Unlockable Survival mode
- Intuitive controls system with fun flinging action
- Plenty of power-ups and bonuses to earn
- GameCenter and Crystal integration for global leaderboards and achievements
- Relatively short campaign at launch
- Gifting to unlock additional levels
- Some graphical bugginess
- Lack of in-game music
Blobster offers 40 levels of play spread evenly across 4 distinct environments, with an additional 3 bonus levels per set, bringing the grand total to 52. The bonus levels are unlocked by gifting them to a friend, which seems to be an increasingly popular way to offer content and promote a game. The hero of this particular journey is an amorphous red blob who moves around by sliding along the ground or propelling his body in slingshot fashion. Your task is to maneuver through each level, recovering as many colorful blobules as possible while avoiding (or destroying) enemies and staying out of the water. Destroyed enemies leave behind orbs that can be collected for bonus points. Some orbs provide you with a temporary shield against enemies, while others will increase your size. Increased size leads to higher jumps. A special orb will give you a super jumping ability for a short time, too. Each level is timer-based, so speedy play is rewarded with big point totals.
Terrific level designs make the game both challenging and a lot of fun. There are gears that mangle and mash your blob as he passes through, while catapults fling the blob around, arrows force him in certain directions, disappearing platforms provide a very short respite, boards topple over and pile up, pneumatic tubes suck him around the board, and spring-loaded platforms propel him higher and higher the more he jumps on them. We did encounter a few graphical glitches that allowed us on the wrong side of a border in one case and caused us to be partially impaled on a border in another case, requiring several flings to unhinge ourselves. Otherwise, we really enjoyed the variety of obstacles and structures that we came across, though many of the decidedly bite-sized levels seemed to end a bit too quickly for our tastes.
Graphically, Blobster is a colorful, polished platformer that utilizes wide-open spaces and simple structures to give you a wealth of options in deciding how to complete a level. Platforms are usually very minimalistic, as only a thin line provides enough structure to hold you weight and allow you to jump up through the floor. There is also a zoom out button that gives you a good look at the level from afar. Despite an arcade-style tune playing over the menus, there is no in-game soundtrack. Instead, you are left with some simple sound effects when bouncing, collecting blobules, and the like. You control your blob by holding either the extreme left or extreme right of the screen to slide him in the same direction. Dragging backward on the blob will set the direction and power that he will fly in the opposite direction. Animations are fluid and the ability to influence your direction while airborne is a key component to quick level completion.
Replay value is pretty good, as you’ll likely need to tackle some levels over and over to hone your times, collect blobules you missed the first time, or just enjoy the ride. There is an unlockable Survival mode that offers a slightly different challenge if you collect 75% of the Blobules in the game. GameCenter and Crystal integration allows for leaderboards for each game mode, each world, and each individual level. There are also a few dozen achievements to earn. For $0.99 (or $1.99 for the separate HD version), Blobster is a very solid 4-Dimple charmer.