Blob Wars: Metal Blob Solid on Mac OS

Today’s post marks one year of me writing this blog! I was planning on doing a in depth bit about an open source game called The Battle for Wesnoth, but unfortunately I couldn’t get it working in time, I had installed it via Macports on my macbook and assumed that it would work, I won’t make that mistake again!

Instead I’m going to write about a platform game called Blob Wars: Metal Blob Solid. The name is an obvious reference to the metal gear series which is popular on many consoles (and early versions on many old computers) but the name is the largest part the two share in common. Blob wars is an action platform game, written by a group of guys that call themselves Parallel Realities, beginning in 2004. The game is open source and is available for all the major operating systems including Linux, Windows and Mac OS. Today I was running it on Mac OS.

The basic premise of the game is simple. There is a peace loving world where the blobs lived which is now being attacked by some aliens which strangely look very similar to the blobs. In the early stages of the game we don’t know why they are being attacked or indeed who is the mastermind behind it.

You are a blob wearing a bandana tasked with completing various objectives to try and save the blobs home world. Along the way you will have to also rescue various blobs that were missing in action from previous battles in the area. Fortunately there are a variety of guns and items to help you accomplish these tasks.

Game play wise the controls work well, and the guns are effective at what they are designed to do. Killing the enemies in a level seems to be optional with the exception of bosses. So the main meat of the game comes in finding the MIAs and finishing the objectives required for each level. This basically means exploring as much as possible until the level is done.

The guns are interesting and most are easy to use. I found the grenades were the most difficult to use taking down aerial targets or something higher than me. The enemies are all fairly similar in the early game being mostly green blobs and flying robots, the number does diversify as the game goes on.

The graphics are nice, but in some places seem to be a bit fuzzy or not quite match up with a nearby surface.  This isn’t too distracting, and could be because of the technology that was available when they first worked on the game. It just didn’t help the aesthetics of the levels. The sprites are very colourful and let you recognize whats happening quickly, the doesn’t appear to be much animation except in the form of lots of particles from explosions and blood when enemies die.

Sound is good as well, but again isn’t as polished as commercial games. The volume across sound effects didn’t seem consistent and there was no music that I was aware of to add to the atmosphere of the game.

Blob wars is an excellent open source game that is fun to play, and does not require you to invest huge amounts of time. It isn’t quite as polished as a commercial game, but obviously you can’t expect that from a small team of developers not doing it for a living. A lot of thought has been put into the levels and game play and it shows, if you like a good action platformer then you should give this one a go.


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