Pretty much anyone who owned a Wii back in the day bought de Blob, if not for its rather amusing name then for how colourful and fun the game looked! Children love colouring in, it keeps them busy and they’d have fun in essentially bringing to life something dead and drained of colour. However, in growing up, most of us don’t have time to sit down and colour things in anymore, at most perhaps the odd amusing graffiti on a newspaper or drawing and colouring something in whilst bored at work. Enter de Blob, a faithful remaster of a Wii classic from a decade ago which allowed anyone of all ages to bring things to life with colour once again (and also create some funky music!).
de Blob’s story is given to us through a collection of silent movies, similar to the old LEGO cut scenes before they got voices. We discover that the evil INKT Corporation, which is led by a dictator called Comrade Black, has drained all of the colour from Chroma City. This has turned the city into a boring, grey, monotone metropolis.
Blob is part of a resistance underground called the Colour Underground whose job it is to try and bring colour and life back into the city. The game itself is quite political if you read between the lines, as you deal with political oppression and art in a free society. However, this isn’t pushed upon you and many, including myself, just see the game as a giant colouring-in simulator! You will quickly learn to love Blob and won’t want to stop playing – at least until de Blob 2 gets remastered!
de Blob is split up into missions, each has a timer and a set of goals which stays the same for each. These goals are things such as paint 100% of items, paint all the trees and rescue all of the citizens as well as a few others. You also have a time trial on each mission but this isn’t known until you complete it the first time, so I recommend collecting/painting everything on the first playthrough and doing the speed run second.
The gameplay is quite simple, yet fun – you are a blob who must colour in everything that is grey whilst avoiding oil slicks and stomping on any enemies you encounter. You obtain a colour from spider-like robots, who carry it in glass tanks, by stomping on them. Once you squash them, you absorb the colour they were carrying and gain a number of ‘paint points’. This allows you to jump onto anything that’s grey such as buildings, trees, people and even cars and paint them in the colour you have absorbed. This uses up your paint points and once you hit zero you return to being colourless and must seek out more colour tank enemies.
You can also mix colours together, so if you stomp on a red tank and then a yellow one, you become orange. If you get all 3 colours (red, blue and yellow) then you become brown. Most of the time it won’t matter what colour you are, as long as you are giving colour to the city, however, there are various missions around the city which require you to paint certain targets in a certain colour before the timer runs out – this rewards you with more time on the mission timer (which is always counting down).
The game also supplies a multiplayer mode. I didn’t personally try this out, as there is only myself, but it appears to be an up-to 4 player splatoon-like game where the winner is the one who colours the most of the city in their colour before the timer runs out.
The graphics are really colourful and bright (once you have painted things) and the team have done a great job remastering this for modern consoles. I used to love playing it on the Wii but the low resolution and lack of HD didn’t provide an opportunity to show off how bright the game could look. Everything is clean, easy to distinguish and really fun to look at.
The sound is actually the main thing I remember from the de Blob games! It’s unusual but it works really well. Each level you get to pick a ‘base track’ of music, this will be playing quite softly as you play and move around the colourless city. As you begin to colour in you will notice the music perk up and new instruments chime in – that’s you! Depending on your colour, as you paint something it will play a note or 2 and basically create the music. Each colour has a different instrument and I love how it all comes together and sounds like a pre-recorded soundtrack, even when quickly changing colours. This still holds up great in the remaster as well.
The only negative I can think of would be the level design. The game is great, but you can easily get lost using the in-game compass. It points you to the story mission points until you reach the end of the level, if you then bring up the compass it will point you to the nearest grey building to colour in and the nearest challenge mission (that you haven’t completed). This works as intended, but if a building is right back at the start, the compass doesn’t tell you that, it just shows the direction of the colourless object.
de Blob is a charming game which can be enjoyed by everyone. The colourful, fun nature of the game makes it a joy to play and the music makes it even more relaxing. Maybe watch a small snippet of gameplay and see if you would enjoy it as the overall mechanics don’t change throughout the game. This is a great remaster which even takes advantage of the light bar on the controller and is priced perfectly for the amount of content you get.
- Fun pick-up-and-play mechanics where everyone can play
- Music is created as you play based on the colour you use to paint with
- Many things to do and colour in, will keep you busy for hours
- Loveable characters and protagonist with funny cutscenes
- On PS4, the controller light bar changes colour based on the ink colour you currently have absorbed
- Easy to get lost
- Repetitive buildings and level design
- Some stages can be long (if trying to collect everything) with no mid-level save