Overall Score 60%
Blobyrinth: Maze Island Quest
Take one part Sokoban, Pacman and Frogger, add a twist, and you have Blobyrinth: Maze Island Quest. It is not entirely a clone, but a innovative take on Sokoban, where you play as Blobby, out to rescue Soozy from the pirate Madbeard by nudging around blocks and collecting items all the way to the finish square.
Although the story and characters are more for children, the puzzles and gameplay should appeal to any audience that enjoys a good puzzler. The game features a neat and easy to understand tutorial, and for those keeping track you can see your progress in the beginning of every level on a map. You can use the keyboard to move around the maze levels, or click with the mouse where you want to go. The levels mostly consist of blocks marked by symbols and their designated areas, colour coded keys and the doors they unlock, blobs moving around in predictable patterns and goodies like coins, reset spheres and blast powerups.
The maze like levels, collecting of coins and running away from angry blobs bring back memories of Pacman. The game also plays like Frogger, where you have to time your movements to avoid enemies and jump on and off floating platforms. For the most part the game plays like Sokoban, where you have to nudge around blocks without closing your access to designated squares.
On the innovative side, you can colour code your character by moving over ink pools. This allows you to absorb angry blobs of the same colour without getting killed. When moving through two different coloured ink pools, you become a secondary colour, so moving over red then yellow turns you orange. There is more then one puzzle per screen, and a checkpoint saves your progress to help avoid frustration without making it too easy. If you mess up a puzzle, you can reset the unsolved blocks on the level by pressing the 'R' key and for that you need reset spheres. Putting your current colour on a timer, having to collect reset spheres and hiding items behind bushes are features that the game could have done without.
The music works well, setting a mellow mood while the sound effects are of good quality. The music could have been more diverse, as some tracks start getting repetitive after a while. The game options feature controls to set the volume and music levels, though the maximum audio levels sounds a little low in comparison with other programs. The cartoon like graphics are colourful and clear, with all the trimmings of a professional casual release. The game can play in resolutions of 640x480, 800x600 and 1024x768 with the option to switch between windowed and fullscreen modes.
For those who do not enjoy puzzles, getting the blast powerups and absorbing other blobs is about the most exiting thing that is going to happen. Blobyrinth pays attention to detail with effects like rain and smoke while managing to put an array of even more effects to use within the gameplay. The game gets more challenging and interesting after the first twelve levels, and with more polishing and tweaking it can really shine.
The Sokoban appeal lives on, and Blobyrinth: Maze Island Quest marries three game types with great success, while bringing its own identity and innovation, making it one good puzzler.
Keywords: blobyrinth: maze island quest review, ghost ship studios, inc. reviews, ghost ship studios, inc. games, blobyrinth: maze island quest scores, pc game reviews, indie game reviews, independent gaming.