Rise of the Blobs (iOS/Android) review
Rise of the Blobs is a new iOS and Android game from Robot Invader. It’s available now as a free download from the App Store and Google Play, with additional in-app purchases of in-game currency and other premium features.
Rise of the Blobs is a “falling blocks” puzzle game in which players must attempt to prevent a cylindrical stack of colored blobs from reaching a “marshmallow” character at the top of the screen. This is achieved by dropping various pieces of fruit onto the blobs — feeding a blob with a matching piece of fruit causes it to start glowing, and tapping it when it is in this state causes it to pop along with any other blobs that are connected to it horizontally or vertically. The more blobs that are popped at once, the more points the player scores, and the speed of the game varies according to the player’s performance.
The more the game is played, the more features are unlocked. Some simply unlock through repeated play and ranking up, while others must be unlocked using in-game currency. Unlockable features include new game modes, upgradable consumable powerups and permanent, upgradable “perks” that build on the game’s base mechanics with additional special blob types, time bonuses and boosters to various bonuses. There is also a coin and experience points doubler available via in-app purchase, an “unlock everything” option which can theoretically be earned with enough grinding, and a “Robot Invader Pass” which can be acquired through in-app purchase. The latter option provides immediate access to exclusive content, a one-time bonus of in-game currency and the promise of future content just for passholders. There are also items available in the shop — mostly of a cosmetic nature — that only passholders can acquire.
The game allows players to connect to Facebook to compare their scores against friends, and on iOS also supports Game Center for leaderboards and achievements. Any leaderboard-based “score attack” game with purchasable, unlockable upgrades carries the risk of the in-game store becoming a “pay to win” solution, but Rise of the Blobs sidesteps this by not charging unfeasible in-game currency prices for the various upgrades and awarding said currency at a good rate. The game also features a good sense of progression for the single player, as new game modes unlock, the player earns access to new powerups and perks, and the game constantly challenges with new objectives. It is a satisfying, addictive game that is all the more noteworthy for not being a bubble shooter or Bejeweled-style match-3 puzzler. The game has most in common with Diamond Dash, but the “falling block” element is both a good addition to this base formula as well as being a nice throwback to puzzle games of the past such as Tetris and Columns.
On the whole, Rise of the Blobs is an excellent addition to the mobile puzzle game library that successfully distinguishes itself from the endless array of almost-identical title with a few new mechanics, some excellent production values and in-app purchases that don’t feel as if they are taking advantage of the player. It’s a great example of a high-quality puzzle game and deserves to enjoy some success.
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A puzzle game that deserves praise simply for being a bit different to the norm, but is also an excellent game in its own right.