Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Midnight Snack: Blush

Is that a sperm or a squid?  YOU DECIDE. About two weeks ago, Flashbang Studios launched Blush.  If you haven’t been following the company like we have, let me inform you that this is the first of Flashbang’s eight-week games.  They’re pushing themselves to generate content, and in turn get noticed for the quality and quantity of their work.  Do them a favor and check them out.

I can best describe Blush as a combination of flOw and Off-Road Velociraptor Safari.  You control a physics based squid (or “Crystalline Attack Sperm” as their blog jokes) who explores the underwater depths around him.  You won’t find any freaky alien fish, but you will find plenty of jellyfish, oversized anglers, and monster eels.  As you destroy these other fish and collect the eggs they leave behind, your squid grows in size and tentacles – vaguely like flOw, I guess.

I liken it to Off-Road… because of the control mechanic.  You move your squid around by clicking/holding the in the direction you want it to move.  To attack other fish, or collect eggs, you must make the squid whip its tentacles around – much like you whip the spike-ball attached to your jeep in Off-Road...  Its a fun mechanic.  Just be prepared for a bit of frustration when trying to spin in circles to attack the larger fish.  Also, when you collect eggs, you must deposit them in one of the crescent-repositories, not unlike the Off-Road… teleporters.  I don’t make these comparisons to disparage Blush.  I simply think Flashbang has wisely selected which mechanics to borrow from previous games.

The game’s got some great atmosphere, enhanced by a great soundtrack that builds as the game clock ticks down (it starts at four minutes, a perfect length).  There are also plenty of achievements and leaderboards (which should be up and running soon, if they aren’t already).  Aside from the simple joys of popping anglers with my tentacles, Blush gives the player four minutes in which to debate the question “Am I controlling a sperm or a squid?”  How can you pass on that?