de Blob - WII - Preview

E3 2007 Preview

The evil INKT Corporation has run roughshod over the world, clamping down on the citizens and turning the color scheme into a blah monochromatic landscape. Now, being that you are a three-dimensional gooey blob, with illusions of being a hero, and with the ability to pick up and disperse color to the world, it seems like it will fall to you to save the citizenry and colorize the world.

That is the concept behind de blob, a THQ title on display at the E3 Media & Business Summit in Santa Monica. The setting is somewhat 1940s in tone, and while there are familiar objects in the world, there are also some conceptually odd elements that will make the game a bit more than just a puzzler. The missions run the gamut from colorizing the world, to navigating puzzle-type terrain, to smashing INKT minions with by dropping down on them.

The story about how this title came to be is as interesting as the game itself. The game was conceived for the Windows PC by a team of nine students studying Game Design & Development at Utrecht University’s School of the Arts in the Netherlands. At the time of conception, sections of Utrecht were being rebuilt and the principal task in creating the game was to convey how the railroad station area of Utrecht would look in 10 years. The city of Utrecht has since adopted the character of de blob to be its mascot.

Of course, there are perils that must be avoided. The title character spawns in a pool of water. Now should an INKT minion infect or successfully attack de blob, it will convert to black. Players will have a finite time to get de blob back to the pool to wash off the black color or the character will implode. The game is arcade in nature and when finished will have between 12 and 16 levels available. Most of the missions are timed, though you can gain bonus time for completing certain objectives.

As the game is being developed on the Wii, the nunchuk and remote play a factor in the control scheme. You will use the nunchuk, by flipping it, to direct de blob around the environments, ricocheting off walls, using sticky points to climb and so on. There are patters to collect and puzzles that will require you to apply certain colors to certain areas.

The game does not seem to be overly complex, but rather should have broad appeal. The game is slated to release in early 2008.

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