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de Blob is a rolling around platform where the environment plays a big part in the experience. This takes its queues from games like Super Monkey Ball Wii, Mercury Revolution Wii and Dewy's Adventure Wii although avoiding the problematic level tilting controls of these games.
Platform games task you with getting from point A to point B. The world you journey through is usually based on different levels, and populated with enemies, switches and lifts to be negotiated. As you work through each level you pick up various collectables that accrue score, special abilities and access to hidden areas.
de Blob's main novelty is its world painting play mechanic. The player is presented with a black and white world - literally a blank canvas - and progresses by collecting paint and patterns and painting their way around the place.
Each of these blank canvass worlds lets the player progress once they have painted the required number of buildings. Additionally, there are a number of challenges along the way that task them with painting a certain quality of flora, fauna and architecture a particular colour.
These more specific tasks make the player mix different paint colours to obtain the required tone. This is similar to Mercury Revolution Wii and certainly adds another dimension to the gameplay. Our five year old became fascinated with the colours she could create from a basic set of primary paints
The game delivers its platforming challenge by asking the player to make difficult jumps (with a shake of the Wii-mote) and make careful selections about which items to colour. Hazards and enemies are introduced as you progress that hamper your ability to collect paint and navigate the world. Although this is platforming with a twist de Blob manages to stay true to its genre.
Seeing the Paddington Bear like black and white world slowly come to life as you splash colour all over it is a great feeling. As the life giving colour drips down over the various materials they start to move and groove to the music. Either watching or playing this is an experience that really makes platforming fun again.
de Blob's levels are split into sub-challenges that can be tackled as time allows. It takes an hour or so to acclimatise to the world painting controls, and how the various enemies and power ups can be utilised.
After four or five hours with the game you will have encountered the majority of what it has to offer. But even after you have played through the twenty hours or so of the single player there are still a variety of multiplayer games to extend the experience.
Super young players may need some assistance here to progress. Because your supply of paint is limited and lost if you touch any water, considerable care is required.
Intermediate players may take a little while to get used to the Nun-chuck controls - where the stick controls movement like seen in Zelda: Twighlight Princess Wii. The steady level of difficulty combined with the bright and breezy aesthetic makes this a game well suited for those towards the casual end of the gaming spectrum.
Experts may find the novelty wears off here before the game is completed. There is a degree of repetition to the various tasks which are often more about working through the achievable tasks, rather than presenting new platforming challenges. They may be better served by the more puzzle centric (and harder) action of Mercury Revolution Wii.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
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