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A Boy and His Blob: What Did Critics Say in 1990?
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on June 23, 2014   |   Episode 59 (Show Archive)  


David Crane's A Boy and His Blob: Trouble on Blobolonia (NES)
Ever wonder what Electronic Gaming Monthly, GamePro and other popular magazines thought of your favorite 8-, 16- and 32-bit games? Now you can find out, thanks to Review Crew! This is the only show on the internet that is willing to go back in time to find out what old school critics thought of retro games at the time. Did they pan your favorite game? Did they love something terrible? Find out every week as Defunct Games presents Review Crew!

From the mind of David Crane comes A Boy and His Blob, the delightful open world puzzler for the Nintendo Entertainment System and Game Boy. This 2D title sees players feeding their Blob jelly beans to advance through an onslaught of tough obstacles. Were critics into this type of adventure game at the time, or was A Boy and His Blob too niche back in 1990? We dig through old issues of Nintendo Power, Raze, Electronic Gaming Monthly and Nintendo Magazine System for the answers.

(NOTE: Although we occasionally cut for length, no other edits are made to the review. Defunct Games does not change any of the wording, grammar or punctuation use. Also keep in mind that our score is the average of all critics at the time, not just the sample that is reprinted on this page. If you still have more questions, I recommend you check out the Review Crew FAQ, where we address the review guidelines, converting scores, magazine covers and more.)

David Crane's A Boy and His Blob: Trouble on Blobolonia
[ Company: Absolute Entertainment | Console: NES ]

91% out of 100%

NES: "You're the boy whose blob-like pal can change into a number of interesting shapes and objects just by feeding him jellybeans (!). This comes in handy for solving the many platform-related puzzles that face the boy as he attempts to save blob-kind from an evil dictator. Fast, fun, original and taxing. A Boy and His Blob is skill!"

76% out of 100%

GAME BOY: "The game is immensely fun to play, with the blob a right little chameleon when it comes to the problems. The different types of limited beans make A Boy and his Blob a real puzzler. This is one game you won't be completing overnight, and one that'll give you weeks of endless fun."

3.9 out of 5

NES: "Get ready for an imaginative and original new game. IT's an interesting problem-solving quest with a creative twist. A Boy and His Blob has won instant popularity with our Game Counselors because of its unique game play concept. When the boy feeds the Blob jellybeans, it magically transforms into a completely different object. You are entering a world that will challenge the problem solving skills of every Power Player in the family."

6 out of 10

NES: "The maze in Blob alone would make for a decent game, but when you add the extra challenge of having to use the right jelly beans at the right time, the game gets even better. It's a silly concept, and looks like Crane's 2600 titles, but it still plays well." -Ed

68% out of 100%

GAME BOY: "NES Boy and His Blob was quit a laugh, so Lord knows where the programmers went wrong with this one. The puzzling Jelly bean action would be fun, but there's too many wide open spaces where nothing happens. A shame."

5 out of 10

NES: "There's a lot to like about a Boy and his Blob, with some cool digitized graphics, and animations being the bringing the game story to life. The transforming Blob introduces some interesting opportunities, but the lack of scrolling screens and other rough edges-do detract from the overall appeal." -Steve
REVIEW CREW AVERAGE: 63% - I don't know what it is, but I've always had a soft spot for A Boy and His Blob. Looking over these reviews, maybe I've been letting nostalgia get the better of me. Of the magazine reviews at the time, only one gave this open-world action game a great score. In its first issue, Nintendo Magazine System called A Boy and His Blob "Fast, fun, original and taxing." They loved the silly theme and gave the title an impressive 91%.

Other magazines were impressed with David Crane's 8-bit release, but felt it was held back in one way or another. Electronic Gaming Monthly complained about the graphics, which they compared to an Atari 2600 game. Nintendo Power generally liked the game, noting that it instantly won over fans around the office. They gave the game a 3.9, lower than what their review text suggests. Same with Raze, who liked the game but could only muster up 76%.

Regardless of whether it was on the Nintendo Entertainment System or Game Boy, critics weren't as blown away by A Boy and His Blob as I was. All told, the average score is a middling 63%.

ON WEDNESDAY'S EPISODE: Now that we've determined that A Boy and His Blob wasn't as great as I remember, it's time to turn our attention to another one of my favorite games -- Act Raiser. This early generation Super NES game mixes 2D action with overhead world building. Were critics into this concept at the time or was it too complicated for a 16-bit launch game? Find out on Wednesday, when Review Crew tackles Act Raiser for Super NES. Make sure and check out the Review Crew archive for more old school reviews, and don't forget to tweet me @DefunctGames to let me know what games you want to see next!



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