A note like that indicates either that someone spiked the punch at the THQ Wii event where I played it or that the publisher has a game coming that is just that innovative.
It’s actually the latter. The game is “de Blob.” It was one of seven Wii games shown at a THQ Nintendo-platform love-in held a few weeks ago in Manhattan.
I played and/or watched three of the seven, each of which left me a far better impression than the games I played at a THQ Wii launch event a little over a year prior. That earlier event, held in late 2006 at a fancy candy shop on Manhattan’s east side, featured waggle-added Wii versions of “Cars” and “Avatar” games.
At this 2008 event in an impressive penthouse near the top of a midtown Manhattan hotel, I was witnessing original content, some of it showing a lot of promise.
- “Battle of the Bands” — This April 2008 title is a very basic rhythm game that works as a tug-of-war between two different versions of the same song. So picture the standard rhythm-game rolling highway of musical note cues. But add to that the idea that you and I could be playing two-player, split-screen, each with our own rolling road of notes. If I did better we’d be hearing a version of Cypress Hill’s “Insane In The Brain” (country music edition) and if you did better, we could be hearing “Insane In The Brain” (marching band edition) that you picked. I liked that twist, though I don’t recall the different musical styles having any bearing on the gameplay. This game seems like it would be good at parties, possibly the only setting where hearing the Latin music version of “Black Betty” could be called a good time. The two other music styles in the game are hip-hop and rock; 30 songs are promised, all recorded in the five styles. Developer: Planet Moon.
- “de Blob” — I saw this at E3 and it looked solid. The gameplay was tight then. It let the player control a squishy, bouncy ball of a creature who can dip himself with a color and then paint that color all over a gray city via rolls, bounces, and ricochets. You can combine colors to make different hues but have to avoid water that washes it all away. The game’s city is full of challenges and enemies, and since the gameplay looks fairly open, it’s reminding me of “GTA” just as much as it is a cocktail of Kirby games, “Mario Paint” and the city-climbing parts of “Assassin’s Creed” and “Crackdown” (except this time with the climbing done by a sticky ball). So what did they add since E3? The story parts, apparently. The events of the game are now pitted as a “color revolution” against the evil forces of the monochromatic I.N.K.T. Corporation. Cute. This is the THQ Wii game with the most promising gameplay. It’s set for summer 2008 release and supports 1-4 players. Developer: Blue Tongue, after a student project by nine students from the Utrecht School of the Arts.
- “Wall-E” (Pixar movie game), “Worms: A Space Oddity,” “Big Beach Sports” (volleyball, soccer, football, bocce, disc golf, cricket compilation) and “Big Willy Unleashed” (“Destroy All Humans!” sequel).
I went to a THQ event for new Wii games and left with positive impressions. Quite a surprise, no?