30 Years of Video Games – A Boy and his Blob (2009)

I’m waving goodbye to my 20′s and to celebrate I’m counting down 30 games from the last 30 years.  Join me while I countdown 30 great years of game memories.

A Boy and His Blob

They tell you there is nothing sweeter than honey.  They tell you too many sweet treats will give you diabetes.  They tell you it’ll rot your teeth.  Well they’re lying.  WayForward Technologies’ A Boy and His Blob is the sweetest thing on Earth – and there is no such thing as too much.

I have a long and storied history with the Boy and His Blob, spanning right back to the original games on the Nintendo Entertainment System and the Game Boy.  While this game shares a name it is a far cry from the at times gruelling unabashedly old school game design of those classic puzzle platformers.  While some of the puzzles will make you scratch your head, sometimes in frustration, instead WayForward took the approach of making 2009’s Nintendo Wii exclusive A Boy and His Blob a friendly and approachable 2D platformer – a move that paid off in spades.

The game follows the same basic formula of David Crane’s 1980’s and 1990’s classics as you take on the role of a boy who is assisted by a blob who shapeshifts when fed jellybeans.  Like those games it is less about the platforming and more about the puzzling.  Which is a godsend because the boy moves at a slow and plodding pace and his athletic ability is severely limited.  Needless to say the game designers don’t rely much on that mechanic and instead presents the player with clever scenarios one after the other in a progression really not too unlike a Scribblenauts game, but instead of a long list of items, you rely on those defined by the designers and distilled into a small pellet-sized piece of candy.  It’s a safe callback to the original games and one that provides the game with most of its charm and its challenge.

A Boy and His Blob, like most of WayForward’s output, is gorgeous.  The excellent animation of the 2D sprites exudes charm and the areas are beautifully drawn.  One of the big selling points of the game prior to its release was that it was entirely hand drawn, and rightly so, because it looks like nothing else released this generation.  If there was ever a game that proves that horsepower and resolution aren’t the be all end all of video games, this is it.

It could argued that the game is too cutesy, but only the heartless and soulless demons of the underworld could possibly be repulsed by WayForward Technologies’ hand drawn masterpiece.  It is at times a devious puzzler, but even when you’ve got your head in your hands stumped by a puzzle, all you’ll want to do is give the Blob a hug.

Just press up on the d-pad.


Have a favourite game from 2008?  Tell us in the comments below.  Don’t forget to come back soon for the next game in our countdown.  Miss a year?  Catch up below.

2008 – 2007 – 2006 – 2005 – 2004 – 2003 – 2002 – 2001 – 2000 – 1999 – 1998– 1997 – 1996 – 1995 – 1994 – 1993 – 1992 – 1991 – 1990 –1989 – 1988 –1987 – 1986 – 1985 – 1984 – 1983