Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack still holds the #2 spot on MetaCritic’s list of PS Vita game scores, and it’s a position it wholeheartedly deserves. Five and a half months after its Vita launch, Drinkbox Studios’ Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack is making its way to the PC, via Steam. I haven’t had the chance to play the Vita original, but from everything I had seen and heard, I was very excited for the PC release, due this Wednesday. Having now played it over the past few days, I can say that my excitement was justified and warranted.
Not much has changed from the Vita version to the PC version. I’m told that the content is expanded, and obviously the touch and accelerometer mechanics have been adapted for the keyboard/mouse or controller/mouse inputs of most PCs, but aside from that, it remains the same game. That being said, it’s a fantastic game. The story is paper thin, and hardly the focus of the game. You are a mutant blob, being experimented on by human scientists. You escape the laboratory, and are now on a mission to escape the planet. To do this, you must grow, and to grow, you must consume. What do you consume?
Everything smaller than you.
While the story may not be the biggest motivating factor for playing, the subtle touches to the background and environment are absolutely worth taking your time to see and enjoy. The title is filled with a plethora of pop culture and geek culture references that should not be missed.
The game features a well developed difficulty curve, introducing new concepts and reinforcing them throughout following levels before introducing more. What starts out simply as jumping and moving through a level eventually becomes a matter of timing, slams, controlled flight, mouse controlled object manipulation, magnetism, and more. It seems very likely that the mouse controlled object manipulation stems from the adapted touch screen mechanics of the Vita, and consists mainly of dragging platforms and adjusting the direction of rotating objects. When using the keyboard/mouse control scheme, it fits and feels right, but when using the controller/mouse control scheme, removing your right hand (or left, depending on your preference) from the controller to use the mouse feels very disjointed, especially when you still need to use the controller simultaneously.
So the story isn’t much to write home about, but the beautifully crafted and detailed environmental touches are not to be missed. The difficulty curve is intuitive and well designed, but the controller/mouse control combination can feel disjointed. That leaves us with the graphics and the sound design. Visually, Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack has the same sharp, vibrant, fluid style that it did on the PS Vita. The bright green blob and his/her magenta spikes absolutely pop off the screen, while the music and sound effects feel like they’ve been taken straight from a 50s sci-fi b-movie (in a great way).
At the time of this writing, there was no price announced for the Steam version of Mutant Blobs Attack. Given the budget priced nature of the title on the PS Vita (priced at $7.99), and given its tantalizingly short but satisfying nature, I would imagine a similar price point once it goes live for purchase in Steam. Even if it makes its way up to a $9.99 price point, however, that wouldn’t change my opinion or review result in the slightest. This game, aside from the off-putting mouse mechanics, is solid gold. Drinkbox Studios has done a great job of porting this title over from the Vita, and they’ve given fans of platformers a must-have experience. If this is the level of quality one can expect from a Drinkbox title, I find myself eagerly anticipating their next offering.
- Wonderful touches of subtle humor throughout the game
- Smooth movement mechanics
- Sharp, vibrant graphics
- Scaled difficulty
- Controller compatibility
- Translated well from Vita’s touch mechanics
- When using a controller (which is definitely recommended), being forced to use the mouse for the remote movement mechanic is a bit disjointed
- It’s taken me too long to finish writing this review, because I keep loading the game up to play…for “research”
To see where this review score falls in our scoring range, please read our review scale guidelines.