Game Day: 'Boy and Blob' , it even has a 'hug' button
"A Boy and His Blob" is a more lighthearted affair than "Braid," but its puzzles are no less cunning. The blob came to Earth seeking help to overthrow the evil emperor of Blobolonia, who has sent his inky, blobby minions to our planet as well.
The blob does nothing on its own but follow along, but when the boy feeds him jellybeans, his form changes. One kind of bean turns him into a ladder, another into a parachute, a third into a trampoline. He can turn into an anvil, a cannon, a bowling ball, a balloon, even a hole in the ground. And there are more forms as well, each with its own uses.
The boy takes advantage of these changes to make his way through the game's numerous levels, defeat the emperor's minions and collect the trio of treasure chests in each stage, which open up challenge stages when found.
"A Boy and His Blob" is friendly: Checkpoints are frequent, so defeat is a brief setback at worst. The challenge usually comes from figuring out how to get past the current obstacle or reach that out-of-the-way chest, though boss fights are a bit more dangerous.
The puzzles are tricky but logical, and the boy is given the beans he needs to solve a particular stage. (He can carry eight kinds at once, easily selected from a radial menu.)
For example, in one stage, there's an enemy on a high platform with another platform below it. To defeat it, the player has to use the right combination of powers to move the creature to the lower platform so it can be squished with something heavy — not a tough challenge but one that requires the player to think carefully about what beans in the boy's arsenal have which effects. (In this case, the hole and the anvil forms are key.)
Beyond being friendly, the game is adorable. The blob swallows jellybeans and chests with a pronounced "gulmp"; there's a button whose only purpose is to make the boy hug his blob with a happy little "oomph." How many games have a "hug" button? The game's visuals are in rich, fluidly animated 2-D — there's not a polygon in sight, nor a need for one — and the music and sound are terrific.