De Blob (Nintendo Wii)
"De Blob", developed by THQ and Bluetounge started out life as a shareware PC game. The basic structure was to roll around as a gigantic hunk o' paint and embellish a monochromatic city with vivid colors. It was eventually fully developed with new elements and ported onto the Wii. Needless to say, it was a successful move and strikes a blow for the seemingly low reputation of third-party developers.
The gameplay structure is simplistic- at face value you must transform eight monochromatic regions back to their colorful atmosphere. You do this by manipulating a glob of paint, feeding him Paint-Bots to increase his size dramatically. Besides painting the region, you will also have to fufill the requests of an underground rebellion force known as "The Color Underground". These range from painting specific buildings a specific color to annihilating enemy creatures and disabling turrets. You can also unlock side-quests by performing well and racking up points.
The vocal point of this adventure is the exquisite score. Not only is it excellent on its own, it plays an active part in the gameplay. At first, the cities are quiet and depressing in mood. Then, as the world bursts with color- the music becomes more and more triumphant and jolly. This is a true joy to experience- and even performing actions nets more beats and sound effects. For example, hitting a building as a red blob will emit a saxophone beat while hitting as yellow will generate a lively and relaxing sound. As icing on the cake, you can select a "mood" which will formulate the general atmosphere of the soundtrack before the start of each level.
In the end, De Blob is an excellent game and proves that the third party industry can do more than just bland WiiWare titles. Pick it up if you're hungry for a charming and calming platform/puzzle adventure.
*Charming art direction
*Plenty of replay value- missions to complete, buildings to paint, collectibles to snag and side quests all make replayability a must
*Incredibly easy- plenty of room for error
*Saving system is primitive. You cannot save during a certain level. And, the fact the levels are gigantic and contain hours worth of content doesn't help a bit.