To the noble tradition of video-game icon, we can now add Blob, the mischievous hero of de Blob 2. While he was charming enough in his 2008 debut, the sequel is a more satisfying, well-rounded adventure. He's becoming a real contender.
Blob is, well, a blob, a gelatinous mass that rolls and bounces his way through the streets of Prisma City. The metropolis has been taken over by the villainous Comrade Black and his INKT Corp., and all the buildings have been covered in shades of gray. But Blob can absorb paint, which he uses to liven up the bland architecture and inspire the downtrodden populace to revolt.
Blob can also slam into Comrade Black's troops, although tougher enemies may require more paint or a certain color. And power-ups transform Blob into, say, an unstoppable wrecking ball or an all-consuming "graviton."
There's an awful lot to do in de Blob 2. The main plot alternates between exploration of Prisma City's sprawling, three-dimensional neighborhoods and more puzzle-oriented 2-D sequences inside buildings. Each of its 12 levels takes about an hour to get through, but obsessive-compulsive gamers will want to spend more time cleaning the streets, rescuing citizens and polishing off other side missions.
The story line is more engaging than usual for this sort of game, and kids will be amused by its delightful (and mostly wordless) animated sequences.
DE BLOB 2
Rating. Everyone 10 and older
Plot. Blob adds life to Prisma City
Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, $50; Nintendo Wii, $40