In Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack! we get a pretty accurate summary of what to expect from the title of the game; an amorphous alien blob lands on Earth(from Space!) and begins to consume everything in front of it. While it may sound like a pretty simple premise, it works well within its b-movie setting and most importantly, is really fun to play. Mutant Blobs Attack! is a sequel to Drinkbox Studio’s Tales From Space: About a Blob and was initially released back in 2012, and more recently on the Nintendo Switch in May 2019. It is a platform/puzzler set to a 60’s sci-fi b-movie backdrop that made for a delightful game experience. I downloaded the game a few weeks ago while looking on the eShop on my Switch and thought it sounded fun to play. I had a great time playing Guacamelee(finally!) so I was willing to check out what else Drinkbox Studios had to offer. I began playing it several weeks ago as an indie title I could play in small, bite-size chunks to counter the endless hours hunting Korok seeds in Breath of the Wild.
As the title suggests, you control a small alien blob making your way through the 6 levels, with each containing four stages. The first level takes place on a college campus, before progressing through the nearby town, a detour to the moon, back to the Badlands, an Army base, and finally a large metropolis. The levels for the most part consist of standard side-scrolling where you navigate the levels while consuming anything smaller than yourself, slowly building in size until you can progress to the next section. This aspect of the Mutant Blobs Attack! is essentially Katamari Damacy as a side-scroller; there’s also numerous puzzles blocking your path that you must overcome by drawing yourself to or pushing away from corresponding objects, as a magnet would be attracted or repelled from another magnet. The “magnetic” objects are colored purple, usually pipes or spinning blades. For example, you press ZL to draw yourself towards an object and you can push yourself away from the same object by pressing ZR. In other levels you will be able to use your ability to propel yourself through the air using…gas(I think?) similar to how a jellyfish will move underwater. There is also several stages that will use a top-down camera as you roll yourself around using gyroscopic controls – like one of those old wooden maze toys where you try to roll the small metal ball to the end. Other puzzles will require you to your psionic ability to move and arrange beams and platforms around to provide access or block taking any damage from red laser beams that will result in your demise should you touch them. This is accomplished by using a standard controller or by utilizing a touch screen if you are playing on Switch or Playstation Vita. There is a message at the beginning of the game that states handheld mode is the recommended way to play the game. I played just about the entire game in handheld mode.
The gameplay and physics work really well, although at one point I was noticing that my movements seemed to be just a split second after I moved the joystick as if there was some screen lag, worse yet, there were a few instances of my character moving slightly BEFORE I had even moved the joystick. However, this seemed to be fixed upon attaching my other set of Joy-Cons to the Switch…only now I’m fearing I may be starting to see some of the infamous “Joy-Con drift” that has been a bit of a concern for Switch owners in the past few months. Nonetheless, the actual controls within the game work really well and the in-game physics seem spot-on.
The visuals and music in Mutant Blobs Attack! really add to the gameplay experience, the animation style is similar to that of Guacamelee, with the backgrounds and level design that ooze 60’s sci-fi b-movie vibes. I really enjoyed the music as well, an upbeat blend of reverb-drenched surf music sounding like it was recording in the 60’s. The game does a great job of conveying the sights and sounds, along with the goofy charm that seems to exist within Drinkbox games. The ending of the game was also enjoyable as the alien blob has grown such enormous size that it devours the Earth and then entire solar system, this is prompt the in-game achievement – Galaxicide.
Complaints I have for Mutant Blobs Attack! begin with the game’s length, you could easily finish the entire game in one sitting as the levels can be completed in anywhere from two to five minutes. The game does encourage you to go back to previous levels to best your previous score as well as find and rescue two of your companion blobs in each level, so the length isn’t a huge detriment to the game, particularly for the price. As stated earlier, the game is perfect to play when you just want to spend a small amount of time playing and don’t want to start up something you will not gain anything from by playing less than a couple hours. My other complaint is probably more to due with playing it on the Switch, some of the puzzles will require you to use the touch controls to move objects to obscure laser beams or to bridge gaps, but this can be tricky to do while having to press buttons and move the joystick in rather quick succession. You can play the game in docked mode, but this requires you to position yourself close enough to the object you need to move that it is more difficult this way. I imagine the smaller size of the Vita would make for the easiest way to complete these challenges.
Minor complaints aside, Mutant Blobs Attack! is great fun and is certainly worthy of your time. The setting is interesting and the music adds to the 60’s vibe, I can wholeheartedly recommend this game. Drinkbox Studios has shown to be capable of producing unique indie titles that don’t seem to get the attention they deserve. I will definitely be playing Guacamelee 2 in the near future too!
That’s it for now, I’ve been enjoying playing through an assortment of indie games and writing up a summary about it. The next indie title will most likely be Layers of Fear, another game I’ve been meaning to play for a while. Have you played any games from Drinkbox Studios? Do you have any suggestions for indie games to play? Let me know in the comments below!
Keep on playing…