Tales from Space: About a Blob – it’s kinda like a 2D Katamari game.
About a Blob plays like your typical 2D platformer. You start off as a tiny blob in a laboratory. As you move around the level, you’ll discover items that you can absorb. In order for you to consume these objects, they must be smaller than your blob. Absorbing items will increase the size of the blob, which will open up new paths and allow the assimilation of bigger and bigger items.
In the beginning, you’ll be small enough to slide down a drain, but by the end of the level, you’ll grow significantly in size. As you work your way through the game you’ll be rolling over cows, trains, and buildings.
Absorbing isn’t the only thing a blob can do. Anything that is absorbed can also be shot back out. Spitting objects from the blob is good for defeating enemies, but it’s also useful for activating switches that are out of reach, or adding additional weight to one side of a platform in a seesaw effect.
Blobs will also gain magnetic properties which will allow the blob to magnetize itself to metal columns and ceiling panels. They can also polarize the magnetic field to propel them away from magnetic surfaces. Magnetism can be used to attract and repel objects like metal balls to activate switches and platforms to reach higher places.
You can play the game solo or with a friend through local co-op. I had the pleasure of playing through the game’s first four levels with my 3 ½ year old son, who absolutely loved the game. Tales from Space: About a Blob plays exactly the same way in both single player and co-op. The biggest benefit of co-op, however, is the extra chance to continue on when one player dies. As long as one player is alive, the second player can hammer on the X button to speed up the countdown before a new blob will respawn.
The first four levels were about as much as my son could handle, and considering he’s only 3 that’s a pretty good compliment. The wall-rebound jumps were hard for him to do, and shooting the absorbed items was a bit difficult, too. But overall, he really enjoyed the game.
I liked Tales from Space: About a Blob. It’s a cute and lighthearted game, and it’s not exceptionally difficult. As you progress to later levels, the difficulty ramps up a bit, and timing of jumps becomes more and more critical, but I never once felt frustrated or cheated by missing a jump or dying. My 3-year old son was able to play through the first four levels without too much help from me. While it’s not particularly an innovative or original game, it is a lot of fun. The game retails for $14.99 on the US PlayStation Network store, but I can’t help but feel that $10 would have been a better price point. However, there are a lot of levels to play and a lot of content, so I can understand why the price point was set at $15.