On paper, Mutant Blobs Attack doesn’t exactly sound compelling. A 2D, sidescrolling, Katamari style platformer on a graphically superior handheld? It certainly sounds like a game that belongs on another handheld, from another generation. Yet, against all odds, Mutant Blobs Attack has captivated me, and is fast becoming one of my favorite Vita Launch titles.
It’s hard to deny that most everything in MBA is derivative of another title, but the game builds upon its predecessor’s mechanics in unique and interesting ways. On the surface, Mutant Blobs Attack is a Katamari-style, object collecting game, based around growing larger in order to proceed through its linear levels. Yet it would be doing the game a disservice to call it a 2D Katamari. MBA utilizes nearly every aspect of the new Vita system, creating a unique platforming experience that expands further upon the Katamari mold.
Our globular hero doesn’t just vacuum his way to victory, but is instead pitted against a fairly perilous series of platforming challenges, many of which requiring gratuitous usage of the Vita’s touchscreen and tilt features. The Blob, being of some kind of magnetic material, is able to adhere to metallic surfaces, as well as propel himself away from them with great force, which allows for much higher jumps. He’s also able to telepathically push platforms, using the Vita’s touch screen, opening up new passages or pushing tasty treats about with the flick of a finger.
Players progress through a series of themed, 2D levels, fighting for high scores against online leaderboards, and absorbing all the debris they can find. In order to progress from point to point, however, the blob must grow large enough to overwhelm specific objects, hence the frequent Katamari Damacy comparisons. At the collection point of any level, the game becomes a puzzle platformer, sometimes even putting actual puzzle challenges in place to impede your progress. One specific challenge, early on, involved using a series of platforms, and the game’s built in physics, to launch boxes and food around a small attic so that you could get close enough to gobble them down. Though not necessarily the most difficult puzzle, I found it to be genuinely fun, and a great use of the touch mechanics.
As for the aesthetics, there’s a lot to love about this game. Though clearly inspired by classic 50′s monster movies, lots of the environments hold little contemporary visual gags, and most of the products in game are ironically labeled. There are tons of head nods to other franchises, some more obvious than others, and more internet memes than anyone probably ever wanted. Though mostly simple in its style, the art is still clean and well developed, if a little too polished for my tastes.
In conclusion, this game is fairly priced for the content you receive. It’s a very fun game, and acts as a compliment to the rest of the Vita’s more prominent titles. As an extra diversion, you could do much worse than MBA, but be warned that the game is fairly short. Still, for $8, it’s hard not to recommend this little title. It’s very well put together, and way more fun than I would have ever expected. A great portable experience in every regard.
Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack!!! was released on February 21st, 2012 for PlayStation Vita.