Just the other day I listened to a podcast from HowStuffWorks.com on animal testing. It might have been the saddest thing I have ever heard of at any point in my entire life. In a strange way this PS Vita title is a lot like what would happen if those chimps being tested on escaped and started murdering people. That also sounds like Planet of the Apes. This game is really nothing like either of those two things.
Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack might be the best early PS Vita game available. Functionally speaking it’s basically the same game as the PS3 title, About a Blob, except this time we get to use all of PS Vita’s bells and whistles.
Mutant Blobs Attack tells the story of a small green blob from space that had the misfortune of being experimented on by us evil humans. After breaking free he/she — can’t really tell because it’s just a blob — exacts his/her revenge on mankind. Mutant Blobs Attack is a very unique and creative platformer at heart that mixes is a good share of interesting ideas with great expertise. The game generally just feels nice. Controls are very responsive even if the blob feels a little floaty at times. He — I’m going with “he” from now on — can execute wall jumps with ease and jump past or over obstacles with precision.
As the game progresses they introduce mechanics such as the ability to attract or repel from metal. This turns the game from a standard platformer into something entirely different. By switching which shoulder button your press you can basically levitate down corridors filled with deadly spikes with bits of metal on the roof and floor to propel you forward like the Japanese Maglev train.
Some portions of the game involve the blob flying. These portions are the weakest part of the experience for me. He floats around with X propelling him and the right shoulder boosting for extra speed. These sections aren’t awful, but they are nowhere near as good as the rest of the game.
Your goal in Mutant Blobs Attack is to absorb enough items — or people — in each level to reach a large enough size to absorb a large cork that is blocking your progress. It plays a bit like a 2D version of Katamari Damacy with less emphasis on reaching a certain diameter. There is plenty to do in the way of high score hunting and the leaderboards are pretty nice. Each level is relatively short which seems very appropriate for a handheld game.
The blob also has the ability to use telekinesis. That basically amounts to touching the screen to manipulate items in game. This can make for some interesting puzzles and very original gameplay.
Breaking up the regular levels are the bonus levels. They implement PS Vita’s tilt controls fairly well to have you navigate a map full of deadly holes to fall into. This levels are interesting because they encourage speed, while demanding precision to complete. Going slow will definitely cause you to fall into a hole every single time. You will need momentum to skate past the holes and keep moving forward to achieve a good time.
Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack is a truly great game. The mechanics present are mostly solid, the levels are varied and the gimmicks aren’t gimmicky in the least. If PS Vita can keep more games like this at such a great price point — $8 — then we may have an amazing console on our hands.