May 28, 2013
Blip Blup is an interesting puzzle game from ustwo that manages to be infuriating and calming in an interchangeable manner.
The gameplay looks deceptively easy, but the proof is almost only to be had in the playing. In each level, there is set of squares laid out in 2D grids (think of ubiquitous kitchen tiles on a floor). Tapping on a grey one caused “pulses” of color to emanate, affecting tiles beside and around the original square by making them imbibe the color. Getting every eligible square to take up the color with a minimum of taps (“blips”) is the recurring goal.
The first set of puzzles, or “packs” in game parlance specific to Blip Blup, serves as a working tutorial. This is always a good thing, and even though I think the verbiage could be less sparse, it does give good pointers with regards to playing the game successfully. It also hints at the variations and increased difficulty to come; progression into advanced packs reveals harder boards with less and less symmetry and different obstacles. Tapping and holding a square highlights the immediate impact of setting of a pulse, so it is possible to estimate the reach of each play… to a degree.
What sets Blip Blup apart from the pack for me is its deliberate minimalism. The developer manages to create a bright, engaging interface by keeping the colors segregated. This really makes the pulsing squares illuminate against the mostly white backdrop, making the animations come to life in (hopefully) in a cascade of level-clearing color. Different packs usually have their own colors — bright pastels and primary colors — and this helps to induce a feeling of advancement. Yes, I’m biased in favor of clean and/or conservative demand when it works, and here, it simply worked.
The developer does get some props for simplicity of controls. It’s mostly about taps, longpressing and dragging.
Simplicity is the biggest feature. It allows the game to be simple without being foolish, and challenging with out invoking the theory of relativity. It is one game that did have been scrambling to unlock; I do refuse to complain about developers using legitimate means to fund their hard work.
The hard work does show in this game.