A Boy and His Blob review for PS Vita, PS4, Xbox One

Platform: PS Vita
Also On: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Publisher: Majesco
Developer: WayForward
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

I feel almost guilty for saying this, but I don’t think I like A Boy and His Blob very much.

The reason for my quasi-guilt should be pretty obvious: it’s freaking adorable. The Boy lives in a charmingly rustic treehouse. The Blob is so huggable that you actually get a trophy for hugging it a certain number of times. Even the shadowy monsters look like they stepped out of a Studio Ghibli film. From a purely aesthetic perspective, hating on A Boy and His Blob feels akin to hating on puppies or kittens.

Consequently, I’ll clarify that my problems with the game have nothing to do with how it looks. I’m not completely heartless, after all.

A Boy and His Blob 2

However, just because it gives me the feels, as the kids say (do they say that?), it doesn’t mean I actually enjoy playing A Boy And His Blob. Yes, my heart kind of melts when I see the boy hugging his blob, but that doesn’t make it any less infuriating that he dies when he falls from a medium-sized height. Or a monster breathes on him. Or gets a little too close to spikes. Or gets anywhere close to water. Basically, he’s awfully prone to dying, and it gets pretty infuriating pretty quickly.

Likewise, as wonderful as it is to see the Blob transform into ladders and parachutes and trampolines, that doesn’t make it any less annoying when the boy has to stand around, calling and whistling for it to come join him. Nor does it make up for those times when the blob fails to gobble up a treasure chest, even if it’s sitting there like a lump literally right next to it.

A Boy and His Blob 1

It is quite possible that there may be controls that make the blob’s dumb-as-a-rock AI a little more tolerable — I’ll freely admit that if there are, I never figured out what they were. However, this points to a larger issue, which is that the game doesn’t really explain itself very well. Yes, it’s nice that it trusts players to figure things out, but there were several points where I had to resort to YouTube tutorials to figure out what to do next, which seems totally at odds with the game’s tender exterior.

Which, again, may be more indicative of a problem with my perception of the game than with the game itself. A Boy and His Blob looks like a gently welcoming adventure, and when it’s not precisely and nothing more than that, it’s easy to get annoyed. While some people may have no problem reconciling the look with the gameplay, for me, unfortunately, the disconnect is just too much for me to overcome.

Grade: B