Bloo Kid 2 – First Impressions
If you haven’t heard of Bloo Kid 2, that’s okay. The game was released by developer Winterworks for iOS and Android devices last year as a free-to-play title, and it caught the eye of a number of game critics who hailed Bloo Kid 2 for its retro elements, fluid gameplay, and soundtrack. Now, Bloo Kid 2 has made its way onto Nintendo 3DS.
As a strictly mobile game, Bloo Kid 2 had the luxury of being “like” Mario. Sure, you can’t play Super Mario Bros. on your smartphone (yet), but you can play Bloo Kid 2, which will scratch your itch for nostalgia and retro aesthetics. Now that the game is on Nintendo 3DS, it has a much larger challenge to overcome – you can play Super Mario Bros. on your 3DS, as well as excellent platformers like Kirby: Triple Deluxe, Mutant Mudds, Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse, and a whole lot more. Given that the 3DS already has such incredible 2D platformers, does Bloo Kid 2 make enough of an impression to merit a download?
The best place to start with Bloo Kid 2 is the visuals. The closest parallel it has is the brilliant Mutant Mudds by Renegade Kid. Bloo Kid 2 even has platforms that use the 3D effect to appear to be in the far background, just like in Mutant Mudds. However, unlike Renegade Kid’s game, there is no separation between the platforms that are clearly visible and the platforms in the distant – the player can use them both at the same time, which is a bit disorienting at first. It looks like you shouldn’t be able to jump on that tree in the background, but you can. At the same time, there are certain objects in the distance that cannot be used. This inconsistency makes the game confusing, particularly in the first few stages. Once you get the hang of it, it’s not a problem, but it is still an odd choice. The stages all look pretty familiar – there’s nothing that would seem out of place in a Kirby or Super Mario Bros. title. That being said, the art is well done. Bloo Kid is an adorable little character, and the environments that he finds himself in pop out of the 3D screen with bright colors and pleasing detail.
The gameplay is pretty standard for a 2D platformer. In fact, there are elements from a great number of classic games here: Sonic the Hedgehog, Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong Country, Alex Kidd, and Mega Man are all referenced in some way throughout the course of Bloo Kid 2‘s short adventure.
Where Bloo Kid 2 excels most is its music. The score is comprised of catchy, fun chiptune arrangements. I had my 3DS volume all the way up during my time with the game – it sounds great. I’d argue that the music is the highest point of Bloo Kid 2. Even when a particular stage (or even an entire world) is getting frustrating, the music sets a relaxing, retro tone that draws focus to the experience of playing the game, not all of the little details that it is made up of.
That’s the real point of the game – to enjoy Bloo Kid 2 is to stop comparing it to other games and to stop critically analyzing every stage. I found this pretty hard to do, but viewing the game as a whole instead of breaking down all of its parts made it much more enjoyable. As a singular experience, Bloo Kid 2 is a solid game. There are a lot of optional objectives in each stage, a ton of collectibles to find, and there’s always something to do in the game – even after you’ve gone through all of its levels. If this all sounds unenjoyable to you, don’t worry – you’re not missing an essential piece of work by skipping Bloo Kid 2. However, if you can get past the innumerable references to retro games and the strange use of 3D, then this game is worth your $3.99.
Have you played Bloo Kid or Bloo Kid 2? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments and keep checking back with Load The Game for more previews and reviews of the latest games!