It’s simply not charitable to Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack to start off a review of it by just describing it as yet another 2D downloadable platform title. After all, it stars a sometimes cute sometimes sinister blob creature from 1950s B-Movies rolling around eating stuff, growing size, devouring cities and getting stuck in pipes and physics puzzles. So probably a much more accurate description of it is that it’s a tribute to Katamari Damacy and LocoRoco made in LittleBigPlanet by a manic depressive person. A manic depressive who’s got his life together anyway, because Mutant Blobs Attack is actually pretty good.
Starting off as a tiny cute little blob in some fratboys house, you slide, eat and magnetise yourself through 24 levels featuring the Moon, military bases and huge cities among others in bouncy 2D loveliness. The basic platforming parts of TFS: MBA are very nice indeed, a good checkpoint system is used to keep things challenging without being frustrating, the controls are smooth if a little loose and bouncy as you would expect from controlling a blob, and the puzzles on the whole are clever and well designed, apart from one thing…
I hadn’t heard of this game before reviewing it but I was still able to deduce that this game was originally designed for devices with touch screens before it was made avaliable on Steam for gamepad use. This is because the game has some incredibly awkward mouse controls, where you have to click and drag platforms and other objects usually to solve some kind of jumping puzzle. Having to stop to use the mouse to adjust platforms has the same effect on the games flow as water from a kettle has on an anthill. These are absolutely the worst part of the game on the PC version and they slow things down every time they show up.
The most frustrating part of this is there seems to be a really easy method to fix it as the right analog stick does nothing and it would be perfect for the majority of these puzzles. LB and RB do nothing as well so these could be used to cycle through objects to control and the stick to move the one you’ve selected, this wouldn’t necessarily be perfect either but it’s way better than putting the controller down to use the mouse to adjust something before you do the next section.
In the introduction of this review I revealed how much of a weeaboo I am by comparing this game to both the Katamari and LocoRoco series, and it’s worth mentioning that both these games achieved something that Mutant Blobs Attack unfortunately doesn’t. Katamari gives you a feeling of scale when you’re running around rolling stuff into a huge ball, and as the blob you control in LocoRoco starts to grow and get bigger the controls reflect that and you feel more weight in getting around and more satisfaction in headbutting tentacle Jamaican monsters off the screen.
This is exactly what Blobs is missing, whenever your blobby pal gets bigger the camera just zooms out and you feel the same size, even in the final missions where you’re devouring entire cities you still feel like the 2cm pile of goo that crawled out of someone’s toilet in the first level. Not to spoil what happens, but the final level should have been an incredible and satisfying climax, but instead it just feels like that pizza eating mini game from Mario Party. Getting bigger and being able to eat and take on stuff you couldn’t before should feel rewarding in a game based on 1950s B-movies about blobs, this game just doesn’t offer that.
Overall though, it’s hard not to be kind to Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack. It’s pretty short coming in at 3-4 hours in length and it’s got some awkward controls here and there, but it has more genuine charm, appeal and a sense that actual effort went into it moreso that efforts from big platformers lately like the painfully phoned in Sonic 4: Episode 2 and Super Mario Land 3D. It’s not perfect or particularly special, but it is innocent fun and that’s more than enough reason to recommend it.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.