A Boy and His Blob (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Nayu 21.02.2022

Review for A Boy and His Blob on Nintendo Switch

First published on the NES in 1989, A Boy And His Blob was remade for the Wii in 2009 by WayForward Technologies. This rendition had multiple console releases and is finally brought to Nintendo Switch by Ziggurat. The premise? One night a young boy sees something crash from the sky close to his home. Upon investigation he discovers a white sentient blob who can changes into various objects on being fed jellybeans, necessary for navigating the levels safely and defeating the level bosses, all to save Blob's home planet Blobolonia which is in great peril, in this beautifully animated adventure.

From the opening sequence to when the action begins, there is much to like from the smooth 2D visuals which ooze charm from every pore. Far from looking ghoulish like the original NES Blob, this 2021 Blob is one hundred percent cute. There's even the ability to hug it at any time in the game, a feature some will use more than others; getting through a tough level warrants a Blob hug. There is no tutorial or explanation of what the game's controls are - the player is made to work it out. Having a tutorial could be beneficial to some, but there are hints throughout on what to do using boards with the symbol of which from Blob should use for that particular area.

Screenshot for A Boy and His Blob on Nintendo Switch

Each level has a few different types of jellybeans to feed Blob to turn it into useful tools. The tools are not decided by the player but automatically chosen by the game. Sometimes only two or three jellybeans are provided, other times five or six were given and not all of them actually used in the level. It might have been beneficial for the player to always have the full selection available, although not having a say in what Blob changes into makes some levels require strategic thinking, and it is a puzzle-based affair, after all.

Items Blob changes into can be used to damage enemies and get through blocked areas such as the Blob anvil being pushed off a height, or the Blob ball being bounced off walls to kill enemies. The parachute used for gliding has one of the most memorable animation sequences; Blob turns into the parachute which the boy then quickly folds insides his backpack. Using Blob as a spacehopper and being eaten by the Blob to form an invincible sphere that zooms around the level are highlights of the game.

Screenshot for A Boy and His Blob on Nintendo Switch

There is no health meter. The boy is either alive or dead. Death happens when falling from a height, into water, or touching one of the multiple shadow enemies that roam the forty levels. Upon death the boy is taken to the last save point, and that might be the start of the level or part way through it. Character movement is fairly easy with the joystick, the length and height that the boy can jump is limited due to his young age, which is why Blob's transformations are vital for progress. Sometimes the way forward is not obvious, but a little trial and error can help work out where to go next.

The levels are varied in location with beautiful backdrops. Some levels have hidden areas where one of the three treasure chests can be found. These can be tricky to traverse, and once a door is gone through usually It is not possible to go back to the point in the level - the puzzle has to be solved to be moved on. Only when all three treasure chests are found in a level can that particular level's challenge area be attempted. Challenge levels are trickier than ordinary levels, and completion leads to unlocking concept art ideas of varying detail which are pleasant to view but do pass by quickly, so unless screenshots are taken viewing them again does not seem easily done.

Screenshot for A Boy and His Blob on Nintendo Switch

At any moment in a level it is possible to return to the hideout, which has a variety of layouts depending where on the map the boy and his Blob are. Game data can be deleted in the base and challenge levels attempted. There are the maps which is how ordinary levels are accessed as well as teleporting between areas once they are unlocked, which also say how many chests per level have been attained. The way Blob eats chests in the levels, then spits them out in the hideout is hilarious.

One unfortunate issue that repeatedly occurred and directly affected gameplay was how this crashed randomly. There seemed to be no obvious trigger for when a crash occurred, something that can be particularly annoying if it happened after navigating a difficult bit of terrain, or even during a boss battle, for then the area's end level has to be replayed just to get to that boss. The frustration at having to redo a gruelling section can be disheartening; it's not as if the style of game taxes the Nintendo Switch as a system to cause the bugs.

Screenshot for A Boy and His Blob on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

The 2D side-scrolling adventure is a far cry from the original NES version, which was known to be not kind to new players. The lack of tutorial, control explanation and random game crashes fail to detract too much from the overall charm of A Boy and His Blob which is a heart-warming tale of friendship, cooperation, and puzzle-solving. Game completion time will head into double digits especially if completionists want to collect all the treasure, or if player skill level for puzzles and platforming is not at expert proficiency.

Developer

WayForward Technologies

Publisher

Ziggurat

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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