In 1995 Rare Compedia decided to combine puzzle-based-platforming and a save the environment message to create a uniquely challenging children's game for the Super Nintendo. Unfortunately, the game was never released in the lifespan of the Snes, but in 2008 the game leaked online and has shown to be a fascinating, coloor filled sprite package, that would have sold due to its simplicity, message and intended audience.
The game was made for children; however, the game does has a steep learning curve with the difficulty increasing prominently after the initial first few levels. That's not to say this is a difficult game, but given the original targeted audience, it's apparent that the intended audience is casual, younger gamers. The game is a pick-up-and-play and the main menu reflects this with a password system.
You play as Mr Bloopy, a rotund shape shifting goo. In the opening credits we learn he is a space agent working for 'Blue Peace' and has been sent to Earth to stop the global leaders 'Pollution Unlimited.' As Mr Bloopy your primary goal is to complete levels through a combination of color swapping and puzzle solving. These can range, although, the vast majority consist of color coded tile dropping puzzles and swapping-tile picture puzzles.
The game is kaleidoscopic in its color palette and is somewhat reminiscent of Donkey Kong Country and Yoshi's Island. The colorful sprites and interactive levels combine to make the game look detailed, yet cartoon-like, somewhat reflective of 90's children's television. These themes are culminated with the protagonist being a shape shifting space blob, possibly done so to tie in with the mid-nineties fad of 'space-mutants' and anti-heroes (Biker Mice From Mars, Bucky O'Hare, TMNT etc).
The main challenge within this game lies in the aiming position of our protagonist and the constant dripping tile puzzles. These puzzles require you to form a color-coded pattern to progress, using Mr Bloopy and his chameleonic abilities. The game can be a nuisance at times with Mr Bloopy limited in his range of attacking and movement options, especially the one footed Bloopy jump that seems to differ in areas and can lead to easy deaths. However, this does add a different area for a player to master, with the jumps needing precision and timing in order to progress.
Although limited, the game shines through with a beautiful collage of graphics and simplistic game-play. The game was originally aimed at children but the pick-up-and-play mechanics are more suited to time constrained adults, nowadays. The puzzles can be challenging in places with levels asking more of the player as the game progresses. This leads to the conclusion that Mr Bloopy could have been a classic game if it was released and would have been popular at the time with its theme.
The message of environmental health being destroyed by global super powers is reflective of society even today, with the games message becoming the pinnacle for an interesting and unique game. Mr Bloopy feels like a forgotten 90's mascot and has complexity the further we delve into its mechanics and beauty.
Copyright (c) 2014 Eli Gali
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