Monday 30 October 2023

A Boy and His Blob Retro Collection Review (Switch)


Of all the franchises floating around the retro sphere A Boy and His Blob is certainly among the more niche. There was a revival on the Wii, which later moved to over platforms, but this is the first time that the original two games have made their way out of the retro abyss.

This is a fairly simple package which contains the NES game ‘Trouble on Blobonia’ and the Gameboy sequel ‘The Rescue of Princess Blobette’. There’s a nice bonus in that the Western and Japanese versions of the games are included which have different graphics but there is little in the way of archive material or other extras outside of some fancy borders and a basic CRT filter.

The games themselves are a mixture of platforming and puzzles which players overcome by feeding Blob different flavoured jellybeans. Each flavour transforms the Blob into something different, Tangerine for instance turns him into a trampoline while Liquorice transforms Blob into a ladder. There’s a host of different transformations such as an umbrella, blow torch, rocket or even a bubble. Each of which can be used to overcome a range of different obstacles. None of the jellybeans turn Blob into any sort of weapon though, which means any enemies need to be avoided as a single touch will cause death. As a nice touch each game does have a couple of unique transformations as well.

Both games are set in different places. The NES game is split into two different sections and starts on earth. First, you need to search through caves under the city streets to find treasure then take it to the shop and buy packs of vitamins. You then blast off to the planet of Blobonia and use the vitamins to neutralise the marshmallows and other sweets that have invaded it. The Gameboy game is set in a castle with the overall goal being to find and rescue Princess Blobette who has been locked in a tower.

In terms of general controls, the game is ok, if not spectacular. Your character slips around a bit so it can be difficult to position him precisely. Blob is pretty rubbish at moving where you want him as well, but you have a jellybean which will teleport Blob to where it lands so you can move him around if he won’t get in a specific place. You don’t get an awful lot in the way of modernisation to help you either.

There is a very handy map of both games accessible from the menu screen but in terms of save states it is very basic. There is no rewind function and while you can save, there is only one slot and it exits you from the game when you do it. This is a really strange decision as it’s not a quick save so you’ll return to the spot if you die, but if you want to save often you’ll have to go through the process of booting up the game again each time from the menu.

Overall, the two games offer something different for retro fans. We enjoyed both games upon original release and while they are a bit rough around the edges neither are impossible to finish. If you are willing to look through the flaws and the lack of modern options, there’s some wholesome fun to be had at a pretty reasonable price. Fans of the newer game and NES games in general will find a lot to like and we are always happy to see more niche titles brought back for a wider audience.

Overall 7/10

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