WayForward first released A Boy and his Blob on the Wii way back in 2009 and despite it taking 7 years for the game to hit PC and other consoles this reimagining of the NES classic is a great puzzle platformer that tells a simple yet heart-warming tale that is well worth diving into either for its friendly charm or even just for that feeling of nostalgia.
A Boy and his Blob is a 2D puzzle platformer that tells a minimalistic tale about a blob from Blobonia that flees to earth in order to seek a hero worthy enough to help save his world from an evil emperor. Teaming up with a boy from earth, the two will work together to save Blobonia once and for all. Spanning across four different worlds, Boy and his Blob will form a strong friendship and make their way through diverse locations during their quest.
Keeping with the same gameplay mechanics as the NES title, Boy is able to feed Blob special jelly beans that allow Blob to transform into different objects that will aid them as they traverse through various obstacles and defeat the evil emperor’s minions. Blob is able to transform into over a dozen different objects that will slowly unlock throughout the short forty mission campaign. A trampoline to reach higher platforms, an anvil to drop on enemies, a hole that allows boy to drop through platforms and a parachute that allows boy to safely perform large falls are just to name a few. As you make your way throughout the four different worlds the puzzles will become more and more difficult requiring you to use a number of different transformations together to successfully traverse the platforming puzzles.
As each new object for blob to transform into is unlocked you will be subtlety taught how this new transformation can help you tackle the puzzles that lay ahead. The great level design implores you to try new and unique ways to implement each new transformation. Each level Boy is given between one and ten jelly beans that he can use to transform Blob in order to figure out how to traverse through the obstacle in front of you. With a total of fifteen unique transformations throughout the game this means that there are a lot of levels where you don’t always have the jelly bean that would make the puzzle the easiest. Challenging you to come up with creative solutions to these often tricky puzzles. Each of the four worlds is made up of ten different levels ending in a boss battle that will put what you have learnt throughout each world to the test, combining different jelly bean combinations to outwit and defeat the strongest of the emperor’s minions.
With no real direct way to take down enemies, the emperor’s minions that you will encounter are more like individual puzzles than the cannon fodder enemies you will see in most other games. Whether it be dropping an anvil on their heads or luring them off edges by drawing them to charge at you and then trampolining over them. Each enemy you run into requires a lot more thinking then just jumping on their head and away you go. Boy’s movements are also quiet limited. He is only able to jump small distances or drop short heights without getting hurt, this restriction in Boy’s capabilities allows a heavy reliance on Blob’s transformations, making them paramount for just about every puzzle you will face. Boy works on a one hit fail mechanic, if Boy is touched by an enemy, drops to far, or falls in a pit, you will be forced to start the puzzle again, further stressing the importance on Blob and his transformations.
Throughout each of the levels there are three treasure chests to be found. Each chest requires players to go the extra mile and complete an additional puzzle in order to obtain them. After finding all three treasure chests, players are then treated to additional challenge levels that can be accessed from each hub world, rewarding bonus concept art and storyboards when completed.
One of the more beautiful aspects of WayForward’s rendition of A Boy and his Blob is easily the art and sound design. Clearly drawing inspiration from the works of Studio Ghibli and in particular Hayao Miyazaki. The simplistic cartoon design pairs brilliantly will the heart-warming tale the game tells. An uplifting and atmospheric score along with minimal yet humorous sound effect spur you throughout your adventure to the four unique worlds.
A Boy and his Blob’s beautiful Miyazaki inspired design and puzzling challenges brings new life to the NES classic of yesteryear. As the game introduces new and interesting transformations, unique types of puzzles will present themselves, allowing the player to experiment with Blob’s fifteen distinctive transformations in order to conquer each obstacle. WayFoward delivers a short experience that oozes with a friendly charm and tells a simple heart-warming story about two friends on a grand adventure.
This review is based on a review copy of the PC version of A Boy and his Blob developed by WayForward Technologies and published by Majesco Entertainment.
- Oozing with charm
- Miyazaki inspired art
- Challenging puzzles
- A little short