Title: Raining Blobs
Platform: PC / Mac / Linuz (reviewed on PC)
Developer: Endi Milojkoski
Publisher: Black Shell Media
Release date: Out now
TL;DR Generic, but fun
Family Friendly: Click here for more information
When creating a competitive column-based puzzle game, it is very difficult not to rip off TETRIS. Raining Blobs manages to achieve a form of originality, but this game reminds me much more of Dr Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine on the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis than the famous TETRIS.
Don’t get me wrong, they are by no means the same game, but one can easily draw a comparison. In Raining Blobs, the player gets control of the blobs that fall down on the screen, as the title suggests. There are always two blobs the player has control of, and you control them by rotating one blob around the other one in order to place them exactly where you need them. All blobs are coloured, and matching up blobs of the same colour will allow for points to be scored. Dr Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine is the same up until this point.
Raining Blobs is actually a fair bit more complex, where sometimes one of the blobs you will get when a pair begins to fall will be a star blob, which is used to clear out coloured blobs and get points. To put it simply – two star blobs of the same colour will allow for blobs to be cleared. As many non-star blobs as you like can be collected together until they are cleared.
There is a tactic in this – building up blobs before neutralising them means more points in one go; the more points you get the more garbage blobs will be dropped on your opponent(s) simultaneously. Timing is everything, so building up large combos will mean lots of garbage blobs falling upon your opponent, increasing their chances of losing. This is key to the main mode of the game.
The game has two different modes when you start the game, either Tournament Mode or Arcade Mode. Arcade is your standard free play, where you play either by yourself to achieve a high score, or up to fifteen other players in a secret mode of the game. Going against even four or five players is manic, and you can have players on the same teams attempting to out-do the others with combos. Tournament mode consists of a “story,” mode where you pick a character and play against all of the other available characters with an increasing spike of difficulty. Regrettably, this spike of difficulty was too great for me to actually complete the game; however, I doubt I was missing on much in terms of story.
The story isn’t complex in the slightest, and frankly it doesn’t need to be. This is a game about matching colours of blobs together to achieve a high score, not some geo-political social commentary. The plot goes like this: There are a bunch of anime girls. These anime girls are the best of friends. Suddenly they are no longer friends and have decided to settle their differences through a column-based puzzle game. That’s it. While I love a good story in a game, if this game had one it would not fit in the slightest, so this isn’t a problem at all.
The game controls very well, both using a controller or keyboard. The controls are very responsive and I never found it difficult to make a move that I had in mind due to lagging or inaccurate controls, so that world of frustration is thankfully avoided with this.
In terms of problems there aren’t really any in what the game is trying to achieve; whatever this game has attempted it has certainly achieved its goal. The game is simple to understand, great fun, and has a fantastic soundtrack. Themed in a retro-esque way, the music and graphics go together very well, providing a variety of different tunes for different level difficulties. The tracks are more tranquil during the earlier levels and get more immediate when the later levels are played, so it’s very tense when you’re playing against a tough opponent at high-speed.
The issues I draw therefore, are with what the game tries to achieve, which isn’t quite enough to give it the substance for a game I’m going to go back to. While this is great for playing for an hour here or there, it doesn’t have any longevity at all, and even though I haven’t technically completed the game, I’m left with no desire to go back to it. In theory, this game meets all of its goals, but it doesn’t go the extra mile with anything at all. The two modes have exactly the same gameplay and Tournament Mode can be replicated if you just keep ramping up the difficulty if you play in Arcade Mode, minus a few text boxes of “plot.”
The game we have is simple to play, but too simple to give me any drive to play it a lot. The game is going in the right direction with the sixteen player mode, since a computer in the modern-day can handle that – unlike Mean Bean Machine back on the Genesis/Mega Drive. This means that so much more could be done with varying modes! Of course, making a bunch of mini games in a single collection has been done too many times before, so keeping the game to the same mechanics would be vital, there is an option to make the blobs you have already placed invisible, so that could become its own mode for example. A mode where the player has to build a tower of blobs and get the biggest combo possible with no limit to the top of the screen would work too. With games now, its difficult to stand out unless you are already established, and this game sadly doesn’t achieve this.
In terms of value, the game is cheap for a reason. These short party games are often priced well on Steam, and this is no exception. The game is certainly worth its value, since you can get a good few hours out of the game before losing interest
What is Achieved
- Graphically and musically wonderful
- Fun for short bursts
- Simple to pick up quickly
What Wasn’t Attempted
- Doesn’t try anything other than the basics
- Doesn’t stand out among other similar games
- Lack of depth
The game is absolutely fine for anybody of any age, there is nothing here that could potentially distress anyone.
This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by Steam.