PS Vita Review: Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack!



The sequel to last year’s pretty wonderful physics-based puzzler ‘Tales From Space: About A Blob‘, ‘Mutant Blobs Attack!’ might be one of the cheapest launch titles for the PlayStation Vita, but it puts the various assets of Sony’s new handheld to better use than most of the full retail titles available.

Like the first game, it’s Katamari Damacy repurposed as a 2D ’50s B-Movie spoof. You’re a monstrous alien blob cooped up in a lab who escapes with world domination in mind. You’re able to absorb objects by rolling over them. The more stuff you swallow, the bigger you get; the bigger you get, the larger objects the objects you can ingest. First you’re sucking up tiny stuff, but soon you’ll be swallowing people, cows, cars, tanks and beyond. Each level has multiple cork plug checkpoints which you’ll have to grow big enough to suck up in order to progress further, navigating numerous puzzles inbetween.
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Streamlining things perfectly from the last game, you no longer have to hold in a button to suck in objects – simply gliding over them does the trick now. You lose the ability to aim and fire out the objects you’ve sucked up, but you can ground-slam and attract to/deflect away from magnetic surfaces, allowing you some funky gravity-defying platform action. And in place of the firing ability, certain sections now allow you to fly around jetpack-style, blasting and boosting your way through the air on a 360-degree axis.

Making use of the Vita’s touchscreen ability, some platforms and obstructions are touch-sensitive. Often you’ll have to shift moveable platforms around with your to build finger to build a path for your blob or twist turnstiles to guide yourself through. Sometimes you have to quickly push barriers into your blob to send him flying over lava pools on the force of momentum, while sometimes you’re up against slowly encroaching floors and ceilings which reverse direction with a tap, allowing you to cleverly navigate without being crushed.
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It doesn’t always work perfectly. The nature of the touchscreen beast is that your finger will often be covering vital onscreen action. Sometimes, whether the fault of the game or the Vita itself, the movement onscreen doesn’t directly map to your finger – you can be moving a turnstile smoothly only to find it reverse direction or stop responding, leaving you to be killed by oncoming lasers. Mostly, though, the game’s mechanics are a wonderful blend of traditional platforming, wall-jumping traversal, cerebral, physics-based puzzling and fun next-gen touchscreen gimmickry. The bonus Tilt-a-Blob levels make great use of the Vita’s gyroscopic sensor – transforming the game into a top-down game of Katamari, it’s less puzzling and more tilting dexterity as you struggle to navigate the blog through mazes and around black holes, while later bonus levels focus on the simple joy of eating stuff.

It doesn’t hurt that the game looks gorgeous, too. The Vita’s sharp OLED screen brings out the best in the game’s charming cartoony 2D visuals and Drinkbox lavish it with cool little touches. The edges of the screen are made to look like they’re slightly grimy, giving the illusion of watching on a dusty old TV set perfectly in keeping with the ’50s B-Movie aesthetic. The bonus Tilt-a-Blob levels include little throwback touches, too, with one in particular made to look like it’s being played on a GameBoy. It’s a beautiful package and the amount of levels has been expanded since the first game, with 30 stages to work though, high-score leaderboards to play with and the usual hidden collectible blobs and medals to snag.
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The touchscreen controls hit the occasional snag, but for the most part, ‘Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack!’ is a fantastic platform-puzzler. It’s a great launch title, proving inexpensive but never cheap in content, offering up top-notch gameplay and providing a great showcase for the Vita’s visual and touchscreen/tilt potential. It’s great fun and for an irresistible price, making it a no-brainer for Vita owners.

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Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack! is available to buy now on the PlayStation Network Store.