Bloo Kid 2’s serviceable visuals aren’t much of an enticement. Neither is the derivative play, which feels like a lackluster mash-up of several, more famous sixteen-bit platformers. Let’s face it, you’re probably interested in Bloo Kid 2 because it costs less than five dollars and might be hoping that the game is one of those rare, reasonably-prices gems hidden in the Switch’s eShop.
The Bloo Boy
First, the good news. You’ll get a lot of gameplay for a modest price. With five worlds each comprised of a dozen stages, you’ll be hopping and bopping for quite a while. Certainly, the game’s control scheme is commendable, with the eponymous lead able to lithely double-jump and land with pixel precision. Then, there’s the inclusion of six different goals for each level. If you’re a completionist, you’ll revisit levels to speedrun through them, collect two different types of stars, eliminate every enemy, snag a red balloon, or even complete them with complete health. But those irked by repetition will find the pursuit of these objectives to be a shifty way to pad the game’s playtime.
Beyond a cutscene where a gargoyle demonstrates Bowser-like motivations, the developers focus is on level design rather than storytelling or environmental creativity. Expect all the conventional contexts, from a bland reproduction of Sonic’s Green Hill Zone, the desert zone, and even an icy locale. Occasionally, the horizontally scrolling stages will auto-scroll for obligatory mine cart levels, meaning there are very few concepts that Bloo doesn’t crib.
Bloo is the Color of Familiarity
Invincibility power-ups? Check! Boiling lava pools? Check! Treasure chests that dump their contents all over and force you to chase them down, Alex Kidd-style? Check!! While an amalgam of mechanics from beloved games might seem advantageous in concept, Bloo Kid 2 demonstrates that games demand distinctiveness rather than gratuitous duplication. There’s nary a moment in Bloo Kid 2 that doesn’t feel appropriated from another game.
That said, stages aren’t devoid of enjoyment. Save for the occasional requirement to make a leap of faith and the forced hits, Bloo Kid’s levels are well designed, with enemy and treasure placement to test a player’s skill set. Encounter a foothill filled with projectile-spitting baddies, and you’ll discover it’s best to start your assault on high ground, working your way downward recalling a tactic from Super Mario World. The game first fortress features an assembly of adversaries that move in a wave-like pattern, providing a classic test of timing. Given that stages have multiple routes, you’ll have to search the entire level for all of the collectibles. Originality might be is dangerously short supply, but you’ll probably still enjoy the game’s challenges. Pleasing, they gradually scale in difficulty, with only a few spikes causing frustration.
Mildly Fun, But Lacking Troo Originality
Mario, Sonic, Donkey Kong, and Alex Kidd can rest easy. Bloo Kid 2 pilfers most of its mechanics and environments from classic platformers, resulting of an experience devoid of creativity. Beyond the inclusion of the double jump, there’s no real effort to provide distinctiveness. While Bloo Kid 2 is reasonably priced, your time with the game might be overshadowed by thoughts of playing better platformers.
Bloo Kid 2 was played on Switch with review code provided by the publisher.