PS Vita Review – Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack

For one reason or another, I missed out on the PSN Tales from Space, About a Blob. But because I’ve got a shiny new Vita in-hand, I’ve been trying to play as many of the available launch games as possible to see what Sony’s new handheld is capable of, which luckily has brought the delectable Mutant Blobs Attack to my plate for me to snack on. And after only a short taste, I could tell that I wanted more Tales from Space.

A couple things are instantly noticeable with Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack: The game’s color scheme looks amazing on the PlayStation Vita, and it is full of style and humor. There may be prettier games on the Vita, but Mutant Blobs Attack is quite pleasing to the eye. The game is presented in a retro rounded-edge television set – you know, the ones with the rabbit ear antenna. The colors — so many colors — are all vivid and have a nice pop to them. The playful color palette and cartoony animation fit well with the hilarious premise.

Mutant blobs are invading the planet, and society is in chaos. Some humans daringly try to deter these cutesy blobs, but they get steam-rolled and eaten up by the globulous ball of mutant monster. Even those these mutants are a threat to humanity, you can’t help but root for them. They’re charming and just plain awesome.

The main blog on the block is a yellowish blob with orange spikes. He grows larger the more stuff he rolls over, similar to Katamari games. But unlike Katamari, it’s more 2D platformer, than…whatever the hell Katamari is. The platforming is endlessly enjoyable, and combines a number of different elements. Platforming is fast and smooth, and as you go, you suck up and absorb (almost) everything in your path. Standard jumping and a downward dash are there, but the more interesting twists come in the form of a push/pull magnetism. Various objects have a purple-ish glow to them, and either sticking to them or pushing off from them using magnet-like attraction gives access to ledges or areas that would otherwise be unreachable. The magnetism also helps to work your blob’s way around obstacles and imminent dangers like spikes or lasers.

Certain objects and platforms have a green glowing dot on it, which indicates that it’s touch-controlled. These things can be used for puzzles, ranging from simple to head-scratching, or to launch your blob past threats and onto far away ledges. But that’s about it for touch features. Bonus stages can be found throughout each of the six main areas which utilize sixaxis motion-tilt controls. The blob becomes more solidified than blobby, turning into a rounded ball that you roll around using tilt controls. The same basics are there – run over increasingly larger objects as you grow, to continue to grow and grow and grow.

Growing is the key to progression. Certain areas are “plugged”, and the only way to get past them is to keep growing the size of your blob until he’s (I assume it’s a he) large enough to absorb the plug and proceed. Back-tracking or exploring may be required, but it never comes off as tedious or annoying. Nothing about the game does, it’s fun the entire time. In some segments, the blob becomes airborne, changing the way he’s controlled. A boost thruster helps to propel the blob around, collecting blue dots or other debris to raise score and increase size.

Each area is well-designed, and each sports a different theme, such as an Army Base or a College (below, can’t you tell by the passed-out, drooling drunk, and the red, keg-party cup?). The six main areas are further split into an average of four levels and bonus stage. Getting through each level only takes a matter of minutes, and is never that difficult. But because things don’t get too difficult, Mutant Blobs Attack never offers much of a challenge.

Added challenges are there in the form of other friendly blobs, who are scattered around each level. Two to each level. Most are pretty obvious, but some can be easily missed if you’re not looking. Again, none of it is ever too difficult, but it does add some replay value and brings some exploration to a world of linearity.

Mutant Blobs Attack would have benefitted by adding more reasons to come back to it. At 4-5 hours of total gameplay, and little reason for another go, the entire game can be played through in one sitting. Which is bound to happen, since the game is so fun you’ll have a hard time putting it down once you get started.

The blob grows to enormous size and eventually takes over the world…and my heart. I truly had a great time playing Mutant Blobs Attack, so much so that I’m going to purchase the PSN version the next time I’m on my PS3. It’s not a deep game by any stretch of the imagination, but if you’re looking for some classic platforming fun, with an out-of-this-world twist and dirt cheap price tag, then Mutant Blobs Attack hits the sweet spot.

PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score

+ Completely charming, wholly hilarious, and exceptionally entertaining.

+ So fun you’ll want to play it all in one sitting…

– But the game is short, so it can be finished in one sitting.

8 out of 10