A Boy and His Blob was first released for the Nintendo Wii in 2009. Designed to appeal to a wide audience, the game had attractive cartoon visuals, a gentle pace, and clever but intuitive manipulation of Blobs ability to change form. It was successful in it goals, creating a beautiful watercolor world, filled with adventure.
Seven years on, the game has come to PC, Mac, and most other platforms. It retains all of its charm, but the pace and quality of its visuals feel a little dated in HD.
Cartoon styled platforming
Starting A Boy and His Blob a few things become immediately apparent: it is beautifully put together, simple, and slow.
Let’s start at the beginning, developer WayForward has a reputation for producing incredible 2D worlds and characters, with animation that makes the action feel like a cartoon. And even seven years on this is true of A Boy and His Blob – even if it looks fuzzy at higher resolutions.
You control the 6-year-old Boy, who is adorable with his big head and cumbersome movement. He moves through the world slowly and inelegantly, barely able to jump over the various holes and cute, amorphous black enemies. Every action is stuffed full of animation, every stumble shows the effort involved, and when Blob arrives and Boy embraces it, you can feel the affection.
But, while it all looks great, it’s hard to stress how slow it can feel compared to other 2D platform games. With modern platformers focused on speed and precision, by comparison Boy is sluggish and cumbersome. Luckily, generous check pointing and how cute everything is go a long way to pushing you past this.
The other thing that ensures that the slow pace never slows the fun, is Blob. Boy’s cute little companion is – as its name suggests – an amorphous blob, but feed it a jellybean and it can transform.
Give it a black jellybean and it will turn into a ladder, while another may turn it into a trampoline, a Mecha, or multiple other forms. And all of these can be used to solve the game's various platform-focused puzzles.
You may use a red jellybean to turn Blob into a hole for an enemy to fall through. This can clear the way, allowing you to transform Blob into a trampoline and bounce up to grab a collectible chest before continuing on to the end of the stage.
It’s a brilliant, simple strategy, that the slow pace of play works well alongside because it offers you plenty of time to plan and throw the jellybeans for Blob.
Gently paced puzzles
Be ready for A Boy and His Blob’s slow pace - and its blurred visuals if shown at a higher resolution - but do not let that put you off this adorable platformer. Its 2D style is fantastic, and its blob transforming puzzles evolve constantly throughout to always keep you thinking.