What is the button for love?
WayForward’s remake of an ancient NES game hit a lot of highs: beautiful, hand-drawn animation and wonderful music; creative, colorful worlds; and that adorable hug button. The game is a puzzle-platformer—players use the Boy’s endless stash of different-colored jellybeans to get the Blob to transform into a variety of useful objects, including a trampoline, a weight, a hole (not sure how that works), and a parachute. New forms are added every few stages, giving the game an excellent sense of variety right up to the very end. The challenge isn’t just to move the Boy from one end of the stage to the other without dying—you are also tasked with finding three treasure chests in each stage. Once found, these chests open up bonus content, including inventive stages that tend to leverage a single Blob form in unique ways.
As previously stated, the game looks absolutely gorgeous thanks to WayForward’s talented 2D animators, and the music can be uplifting or foreboding as the individual stages demand. While most of the game’s monsters are darkly colored blobs themselves, the boss creatures are huge and impressively animated. They may take several tries to beat, as boss fights are largely telegraphed, but they tend to be fun nonetheless. I take few issues with the game: you cannot alter the jelly bean selection menu, it’s occasionally difficult to get a bean to fall in the right place, and there are way too many instances of the Boy having to call the Blob back to him (“Blob! Hey! Come here!”). Like Beetlejuice, the Blob only comes after being summoned three times.
The art style is very evocative, and sort of reminds me (now) of Rayman Origins, but...moodier.
Despite its small faults, A Boy and His Blob is certainly deserving of its place in our top 10 third-party Wii games. If you haven’t played it, you’re missing out. And remember, press up on the D-pad to hug!