The electronic gaming industry was first introduced in the late 1970s and has grown at an exponential rate since day one. Adults in their thirties are the first generation to grow up with video games available to them from childhood into adulthood. The gaming industry started as entertainment for children and teens, but has evolved to encompass all ages. Toddlers and the elderly alike enjoy games of all types.
One of the newer type of games widely available is mobile games. Just ten years ago people played Snake on their phones to pass the time, but the universe of mobile gaming is now teeming with options for all tastes. With over ten million downloads from the Google Play store alone, Nebulous is gaining additional players daily and proving to be a long lasting mobile game.
The game itself if simple to learn, easy to play, addictive and challenging. The goal of the game is to grow your “blob” and devour all of the other “blobs.” Each game starts with as many as twenty seven players in a single game. You move your blob through the room collecting up as many other blobs as you can. Each blob collected increases the size of your blob. You win the round by absorbing all of the other players in the arena. The biggest challenge is avoiding players that have grown larger than your blob.
The graphics in this game are simple and two dimensional. The game focuses more on the game play experience than creating a beautiful product. The character blobs are small circles that grow as the game progresses. The blobs to be collected are simple, multicolored dots placed randomly throughout the play area. The boundary of the play area is represented by a single thin line and the entire game is played on a solid black background. There is no background music anywhere in the game but there are sound effects for different actions throughout game play. The sound effects aren’t necessary for game play, but they certainly add an element of fun.
The controls are simple but take a little getting used to. An on-screen joystick controls the direction of your blob. The speed at which your blob moves is solely dependant on its size. The smaller the blob, the faster it will move. After progressing through the level and growth, the speed slows dramatically. In addition to navigating with the joystick, there are two special moves that can be activated by their own on-screen buttons. The first is the “split” function which allows you to split your blob in half. The second is the “eject” button that shoots a small portion of your mass ahead of you.
In addition to other players, there are also black holes that will split your blob up into multiple small pieces, making you susceptible to get swallowed up by other players that we not a concern previously. Overall, gameplay is fast, challenging and highly addictive. Your turn in a round typically ends abruptly, casing a level of frustration and determination to restart and try again. The replay value is very high right from the beginning.
After each round an advertisement video or picture will appear. There is no option to skip the videos and they must be watched to completion. The game allows in-app purchases to enhance your experience. Some of the available options are “skins” for your blob to dress up and personalize your look. You can also pay for certain XP boosts or to remove ads. Purchases are made using “plasma” that is earned with gameplay or purchased with money. The app is free to download and the purchases are not necessary to play the game. However, you can use nebulous hack to gain some resources for free.
● Time killer
● Requires WiFi for multiplayer
● Occasional lag
The biggest problem for most users is frequent lagging. Developers say this is usually fixed by paying to remove the advertisements, but may also be caused by running the game on outdated devices. Developers of the app are adding updates regularly to both enhance player experience and work out small bugs that affect some players. The reviews on the Google Play store are a solid 4.5 out of 5.0 stars and the current version of the app on iTunes is rated an impressive 4.8 stars.
Mobile gaming is still evolving and this app is reminiscent of the first mobile games with its simplicity and replay value. It also incorporates elements of new mobile games with online multiplayer mode, battles and social connections. It is quick to play, a great time killer and easy to learn.