Have you ever solved a puzzle without particularly paying attention, or even realising that you’ve done so? There’s that split second where you feel pretty damn clever, then the realisation that your success was a pure fluke. Despite looking like it could be a simple strategic game, most of my time with Globlins was spent stabbing the screen and hoping for the best – and mostly succeeding.
Being a game published by Cartoon Network, the premise is suitably charming and childlike: the tiny, titular creatures are aliens from outer space, who are brainwashing the world. With the help of your friends and some mad science skills, you must clear grids of the little creatures by dropping minute doses of water on them, increasing them in size until they can’t take any more, and pop. Every time a Globlin explodes, it releases further drops that will inflate other Globlins, causing chain reactions of popping aliens. With a finite number of water drops available on each board, it is suggested that each drop must be planned in order to clear the board in as few turns as possible. Larger chain reactions give you more drops to use and more points, so being efficient is the aim here.
However, as mentioned previously, it is far easier to just tap a Globlin and see what happens, letting trial and error take care of everything for you. Boards do get more and more complicated, with different species of Globlin appearing that behave in different ways when popped, while there are also a series of boss levels that increase in difficulty. Permanent and consumable power-ups are purchasable with both in-game currency and via overly expensive in-app purchases (which are far too pricy for a game that isn’t free in the first place), which only serve in making for a puzzle game that isn’t particularly challenging or puzzling.
This is a real shame, because I really can’t fault the presentation here. The visuals are colourful, stylistic and full of character, the music is upbeat without being irritating, and even the sound effects have a bit of charm to them. It’s the kind of game that would be absolutely great for children, if only there was just a little more depth to hold their attention.
VERDICT: Unfortunately, the presentation isn’t enough to redeem a game that should have and could have been a decent arcade puzzler. There doesn’t seem much point in playing when most of the puzzles can be solved by randomly tapping the screen and letting the game play out by itself. Even a younger gamer may crave a little more depth than what’s available here, especially with so many other free games out there.
AVERAGE. The epitome of a 50/50 game, this title will be unspectacular but inoffensive, charmless but amiable. We aren’t condemning a game by scoring it a 5, but we certainly aren’t championing it, either.
Review code provided by publisher.