There are plenty of big games on the Playstation Vita. There are ports and new entries in blockbuster franchises that feel like they belong on consoles. It’s amazing that the Vita can handle these console-style games, but what about the smaller, indie games? How will they fare on the Vita? Unless Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack is an anomaly, they should do just fine.
Mutant Blobs Attack is one of the only bite-sized indie games that you will find on the Playstation Network store, and it is currently the cheapest at $7.99. Drinkbox Studios’ second entry into the Tales from Space series has you shlurping along as a mutant blob, absorbing anything small enough to be engulfed in your slimy embrace.
The game plays sort of like a side-scrolling Katamari with platforming and physics-based puzzles that need to be solved in order to access more “food” for your blob. There is a great variety to the game play – the core concept is that you need to make your blob big enough to absorb the thing that is barring your way to the next level. Oh the things you will absorb and the places you will go! Frat house? You will start there. The moon? You will go there, and you will manage to come back too!
Your blob can do a whole lot more than devouring anything in its path. He can squish through tiny openings or do a power slam through breakable floors. Certain materials glow purple, which means they are magnetic and your blob can either attract or repel them. Most of the time, you use this ability to stick to surfaces and avoid obstacles, or push your blob to new heights that are otherwise out of reach. You can also use your blobish magnetism to push small objects over traps so they form a bridge. Late in the game you will find yourself needing to use both the push and the pull to levitate yourselves through areas where both the ceiling and the floor mean death. Drinkbox Studios does a great job of taking a simple game mechanic and exploring all the possible options.
Just when things might start getting stale, you are given a new ability, like being able to fly in certain areas (fun!), or manipulating objects via the touch screen (less fun). These sections are mostly great, except for some instances where you need to be touching an object on screen and using the analog stick to move your blob at the same time. It just ends up feeling awkward, and in some cases where you need to use multi-touch it can become frustrating.
There is a whole set of levels where your blob acts as a marble, and you use the Vita’s gyroscope to tilt him through a maze while avoiding holes and gobbling up odds and ends. These levels tended to feel out of place as well as being a lot clunkier than the rest of the game. However, they are completely optional, so they don’t detract from the overall package.
Beyond the simple, yet engaging gameplay, the world of Mutant Blobs Attack is pulled directly from a 50s style monster movie and is a ton of fun. Drinkbox Studios even plays with the frame around the outside of game space so that it looks like you are playing on an old, convex TV with rounded corners. It is the attention to details in Mutant Blobs Attack that shows how lovingly it was crafted.
The Playstation Vita is very lucky to have such a fun experience at launch. Anyone that has picked up the new handheld system needs to own Mutant Blobs Attack. You won’t be able to find a more joyful experience on the platform, and it just so happens that it is also the cheapest game you can currently buy.
This review is based on a retail copy of the PS Vita version of Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack provided by Drink Box Studios. It is a PS Vita exclusive.