Thursday, March 10, 2011

de Blob 2: The Joy of Rolling Paint and Catchy Melodies (Plus some FREE stuff!)

One of my favorite activities to relax and rejuvenate comes in a small rectangular package. No, not discussing condoms today. (That is for another post!) I'm talking about  ~ video games ~ ... specifically games that have limited violence and few, if any horror movie qualities.

Non-violent and fun video games are somewhat difficult to find for grown-ups. Most of the games have a fairly young demographic and breeze right on by adults who like playing video games but do not always want to shoot  gooey aliens, bomb bloodied zombies, or believe it or not... slash and hack armies with swords and axes. Yet there are several great options. Games like Viva Pinata, Zenses: Rainforest / Ocean, Super Mario Sunshine and Animal Crossing come to mind. Some of those games have mild amounts of conflict related play. After all Mario must defeat "Shadow Mario" in Super Mario Sunshine and in Viva Pinata the pinata creatures are at regular risk of attack. The good thing in Viva Pinata is instead of blood and guts we have candy and confetti resulting in a light hearted theme.

Another game with a light hearted theme and a lot of fun game play is de Blob. Sure there is a totalitarian regime of INKT led by Comrade Black trying to take over the world, I'll admit. But he's not using bullets he's using black ink. In de Blob the gamer must repaint the bleached out towns and liberate the citizens. There is an underground resistance to INKT that helps you along the way. How do you do this? By filling up your Blob with brightly colored ink and rolling along walls, roads and buildings from one place to another. You do this with a soundtrack of funky and jazzy melodies which get more complicated layers the more you paint and vary depending on what color you are at the time. You can also pick up "Styles" which allow you to paint in patterns and intricate designs when you touch a building rather than plain blankets of color.

Recently a long awaited sequel arrived titled de Blob 2. I just started playing the new game and the colors are as vibrant as ever, if not more so. The game play is as fast paced or casual as you want it to be. Just don't let your time run out! Fortunately, you can complete the quests in each level and go into a clock-free mode and finish painting to your hearts desire. The music is great, the colors are beautiful and the scenes have quality workmanship devoted to smooth game play. In this version there seems to be a cult who brainwashes the citizens and forces them into white robes and white-washed homes and towns. There is a definite sense of satisfaction when you liberate them and they pop out in a dazzle of confetti and cheering. They dance, happy and free.

de Blob 2 was released on a wide range of systems making it accessible to most people who have a game system in their home. If you have a Wii, Xbox 360, Playstation 3 or a Nintendo DS you can play. If you don't have any or even if you have all of them the fun doesn't have to end. You can visit the IGN website and download, for free, selections of the soundtrack to de Blob 2 played in a live performance by The Radians band. Just click here and choose one or all.

As a special nod toward joyful gamers... here is a list of my favorite non-violent or low-violence video games:

  • Animal Crossing Series (Nintendo DS, GameCube, Nintendo 3DS [announced, not yet released], Wii)
  • Brain Age Series (Nintendo DS, Wii)
  • BOOM BLOX (Wii)
  • Cooking Mama Series (Nintendo DS, Wii)
  • Diner Dash (Nintendo DS, PC, Mac, iOS, Xbox 360 Live Arcade, PSP, Play Station Network, WiiWare, some mobile phones)
  • Fishville (online only at
  • GrandMasterPixel (on Android phones)
  • iSketch (online only at
  • Karaoke Revolution Series (for PS2, PS3, GameCube, Wii, Xbox, Xbox 360) ***
  • Katamari Damacy Series (PS2, PSP, PS3, Xbox 360, iOS) ***
  • Kongregate Games: Bubble Voyage, Dolphin Olympics Series (online only at

  • Mario Kart (for Wii and Nintendo DS)
  • Pogo Games: Bejewled 2, Hangman Hijinks, Phlinx, Word Whomp (online only
  • Rock Band Series (for PS2, PS3, Wii, Xbox 360)
  • Sims Series, minus Sim Medieval (Nintendo DS, PC, Mac, PS2, Xbox, Xbox 360, iOS, Wii, PS3, Nintendo 3DS, some mobile phones) ***
  • Slice It! (on Android phones)
  • Spaghetti Marshmallows (on Android phones)

***  Each game within the series is not necessarily playable by each system listed but there is at least one version available per system

Android Phone: any mobile phone using Google's operating system called Android
GameCube: an older game console made by Nintendo prior to the Wii
iOS: any mobile device made by Apple
Mac: a computer that uses the Apple operating sytem
Nintendo DS: a handheld game console with dual screens
Nintendo 3DS: the most recently released version of the Nintendo DS with dual screens that allow 3-D play
Online: where you went to find this blog ;)
PC: stands for Personal Computer generally indicating one that uses a Windows operating system
PS2 or PS3: Play Station game consoles made by Sony, PS3 is the most recent
PSP: Play Station Portable, a handheld console
Wii: the most recently released console made by Nintendo which uses motion control
Xbox or Xbox 360: game consoles made by Microsoft, Xbox 360 is the most recent

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