Loco Roco tickled our casual funny bone when it was released for PSP last year. Unfortunately the price of admission was much higher than the simple click required for browser games. For those of us unwilling to drop several hundred dollars for a PSP, Free World Group has just released Blobular, a game remarkably similar to Loco Roco in both gameplay and visual style. Now you can get a taste of the Roco without going Loco with your cash.
Your goal in Blobular is to collect items in each stage within the given amount of time. Instead of moving the blubbery ball directly, tapping the [left] and [right] arrow keys rotate the game world clockwise and counter-clockwise, sending the character tumbling through the landscape. It's difficult to get the hang of the indirect control method at first, but moving the environment quickly becomes second-nature. Think of yourself as a minor deity meddling in the affairs of the blob people and it's even more entertaining.
Your blob can also split into several smaller blobs once you collect enough food, allowing you to collect items at a faster rate and squeeze through small cracks in the landscape. Enemies make an appearance in later stages as well, forcing you to inject a little caution in your blob tumbling.
Analysis: Visually, Blobular copies Loco Roco's style remarkably well and maintains the fresh, spunky look throughout its stages. The music is a remixed tune from Super Mario World and gets on your nerves after precisely 10 seconds. The "music off" button became my best friend.
The level design is a bit quirky and I feel it could benefit from some refinement. Collecting some of the items becomes an exercise in luck (or frustration) rather than skill. I spent far too much time trying to grab a lone fruit hovering on the edge of a tiny platform than I should have. Even with several blobs bouncing on the screen, I still managed to miss it. It's the same helpless feeling I get when playing pinball or Breakout, though fortunately it didn't happen too often.
Blobular is a well-made Loco Roco clone that lets casual gamers experience a unique game without the hassle.