Thinking about it, I probably should have told somebody I was colour-blind before starting the vibrant de Blob 2. I can see individual colours just fine, but have trouble differentiating between certain shades; greens and yellows, my optician informs me. Fortunately, this didn't impact my ability to play Blue Tongue Entertainment's sequel in the slightest, but I found the irony of a colour-blind player being asked to review such a game too delicious not to mention.
It might be worth giving de Blob 2 a miss if you're more colour-blind than me, however, as you're going to struggle with this one. As de Blob, an amorphous paint globule, it's your job to restore zesty saturation to a world that's had all colour banished by the tyrannous INKT corporation and its leader Comrade Black. As well as draining the colour from every inch of Prisma City, Black and his Inky army patrol the streets looking for Raydians (the blobby residents of Prisma) to capture and turn into mindless drones. Not being the kind of guy to stand for such behaviour, our gloopy hero de Blob and his sidekick Pinky set off to do something about it.
By dunking his body in pools of different coloured paint, you can roll Blob about the architecture of Prisma City and restore the landscape to its former glory. While you're free to go off and explore the city to an extent, a timer pushes you along a certain path defined by challenges dished out by the denizens of each area. This might include completing a race, seizing a landmark or liberating captured Raydians from their dreary prisons, amongst other things. Although the city is split into eleven areas, the experience draws largely from the open world genre in terms of structure. Sadly, you're never able to enjoy the expansive levels and impressive range of activities because of the time restraint placed on each level.
With a clock constantly cracking the whip, it's impossible to shake the sense of urgency. Given the spacious environments and immense amounts of satisfaction gained from colouring things in, it's only natural to want to take your time and explore as you go. If you choose to digress from the main challenges, however, you'll soon run out of time and fail the level. You can choose to replay any level without the timer once you've completed it, but it would have been preferable to have the option of doing so the first time round. Feeling rushed is never something that goes down well in platform games, especially when there's so much to see and do.
At the start of each level, you'll first have to fill the numerous fountains and water features in each area with paint, because without it Blob is little more than a podgy colourless ball. This is achieved more often than not by jumping down a manhole or drain and flipping the relevant switch to get the city's juices flowing. These underground sections of the game shift the perspective to 2D, where the usual trend of painting and exploring is swapped for more traditional platforming peppered with paint-themed puzzles (try saying say three times in a row without tripping up on your words). These bite-sized 2D offerings appear in various forms throughout the campaign, and are a welcome change of pace from the often repetitive nature of the main game.
Back in the third dimension, gameplay mostly takes the form of renovation. This involves mixing the right colours to spruce up various buildings, which will quietly pulsate with the colour required to return it to normal. Anything you touch immediately changes to the colour currently swishing about in your body, so you have to be sure to plan your paint job carefully. This proves little trouble at first, but as soon as secondary colours get involved things get increasingly more difficult.