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Default RPGWatch Feature - Return of the Blobber

June 11th, 2019, 22:03
Forgottenlor uses his experience in playing blobbers through the years, to bring you an overview of the blobbers from the past and the ones that could be worth your time.

Way back at the end of the 1980s I discovered three games which turned me into a hardcore computer RPG fan. Those games were Bard's Tale 3, Wizardry 6, and Might and Magic. All three of the games are now defined as blobbers. Blobbers are games with first person gameplay, and usually a party of adventurers. Most of these games are classical dungeon crawlers, though Might and Magic and its successors always featured a huge outdoor world to explore. Dungeon Master was the first action Blobber, and it also inspired game series like Land of Lore and Eye of the Beholder. But these action games were never really my great love, like classical turn based blobbers were. Of course, we didn't call them blobbers, since most RPGs back then were blobbers (the Ultima series was a huge exception). With the success of Baldur's Gate and Morrowind, blobbers began to die out. Wizardry 8 was released in 2001 and Might and Magic 9 in 2002, and both of those releases marked the demise of their respective studios. For me that was a dark time in cRPG gaming, and even though I enjoyed many of the new, more action oriented RPGs, with their beautiful graphics and excellent stories, I missed the depth of character creation and tactical combat of early cRPGs. With the rise of Kickstarter and Steam, cRPGs have experienced a rebirth on the pc, with a massive number of indie RPGs, mid-sized studio RPGs, and Japanese console ports. Also, the traditional blobber, much to my joy, has returned and I have greedily bought up almost every turn based, hybrid, and RTWP blobber offered on the market. I tend to play six games in parallel, and one of them is almost always a blobber. With this article I wanted to share my love of blobbers with you and give you an overview of where you can begin or how you can expand your collection of blobbers, should you be so inclined.
More information.
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June 11th, 2019, 22:41
Great overview! I have played most of these games.

PS:
I hate the word "blobber"
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June 11th, 2019, 23:04
Thanks for this overview! I played about half of them. Liked some, bounced off some and still have to try some.

Of all the mentioned games I played Lords of Xulima the longest and liked it most. Hope we will see part two once the They are Billions hype has died down a bit.
Last edited by Darkheart; June 12th, 2019 at 06:31.
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June 11th, 2019, 23:35
I was pleased to see when Bard's Tale IV tried to be more innovative in its implementation of the blobber by giving the player more tactical options. Hopefully we'll see more of that type of thing.
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June 11th, 2019, 23:55
That was a good read Forgottenlor! Lots of games that I should check out in there.
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June 12th, 2019, 00:00
Lots of memories brought back and one of my favourite genres, thanks for the good vibes!!!!
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June 12th, 2019, 00:18
Great writing, Forgottenlor! Thumbs up!

I finished some of those games (Lords of Xulima), others I started and never finished (Wizardry 8, Paper Sorcerer) and others are on my library, sitting untouched at least for while (Elminage Gothic, Bard's Tale Trilogy Remastered and BT IV)

May I ask you what's your personal opinion about Vaporum (if you've played it)?
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June 12th, 2019, 04:22
Reminds me of when I had a little pet goldfish. It would constantly go up and down, open it's mouth: Blob, blob, blob…
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June 12th, 2019, 07:39
Hopefully some of these games will get a quality remaster like Bard's tale. Good read anyway.
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June 12th, 2019, 09:35
Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
Great overview! I have played most of these games.

PS:
I hate the word "blobber"
Where did that term even come from? I can't remember ever hearing it back when these games were dominating the RPG market.
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June 12th, 2019, 10:41
I need to play MMX one day. Also BT4 is in my Steam account but waiting for fully patched and polished Enhanced Edition + patches.
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June 12th, 2019, 11:07
MMX is great, you shouldn't miss it.

Didn't even know about this Operencia game, gonna have to give it a try I think. I looked it up in the RPGWatch game DB and I guess I must have glossed over the few news posts that went up about it. Plus since it's an Epic exclusive, many people just bitched about that instead of actually playing it and reporting whether it was any good…

Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
Where did that term even come from? I can't remember ever hearing it back when these games were dominating the RPG market.
@Shagnak posted a thread on the Codex last year to try to get to the bottom of the origin of the term:
https://rpgcodex.net/forums/index.ph…lobber.123306/

Conclusion seems to be that it was likely invented by Zomg on the Codex in 2008.
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June 12th, 2019, 11:42
Great overview so as not to miss a game ! Thanks.
Should be done with other sub-genres.
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June 12th, 2019, 11:49
Originally Posted by DR490N View Post
Great overview so as not to miss a game ! Thanks.
Should be done with other sub-genres.
Similar articles highlighting modern TB or RTwP games could be pretty interesting. For action RPGs, the list would be way too long to even begin to compose…
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June 12th, 2019, 13:00
Cool article idea, but it reads too much like a "games that I like" list, instead of a more balanced take for different kinds of players.

Still appreciate the effort
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June 12th, 2019, 14:05
Yes, but the CRPG Book stops too soon ! :-)
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June 12th, 2019, 14:38
Originally Posted by Stingray View Post
MMX is great, you shouldn't miss it.

Didn't even know about this Operencia game, gonna have to give it a try I think. I looked it up in the RPGWatch game DB and I guess I must have glossed over the few news posts that went up about it. Plus since it's an Epic exclusive, many people just bitched about that instead of actually playing it and reporting whether it was any good…
Ah so that's why when I looked it up it on Steam it said it wasn't out yet. I may have to finally download Epic. I've been avoiding it until now, but I'm going to want it eventually anyway for Pheonix Point, and there are one or two other games out now on Epic which interest me.

Anyway a good list. Other than Operencia I didn't learn much from it, but I agree with most of it. Xulima is definitely my favorite, and one of the very rare games that I actually played all the way through to the end.
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June 12th, 2019, 14:44
A lot of Blobbers (Grid-Based Movement) are missing in this comprehensive list:
- Aeon of Sands - The Trail
- Coldfire Keep
- Das Geisterschiff
- Dungeon Kingdom: Sign of the Moon
- Haunted Dungeons: Hyakki Castle
- Heroes of the Monkey Tavern
- Legends of Amberland: The Forgotten Crown
- Malevolence: The Sword of Ahkranox
- Ruzar - The Life Stone
- The Quest
- The Deep Paths: Labyrinth Of Andokost
- Vaporum
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June 12th, 2019, 14:58
I'll be yet another one that jumps on the MMX bandwagon, it's not a perfect game but well worth playing.
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June 12th, 2019, 16:26
Cool article, didn't know 7 Mages before and might give it a try, looks cool.

I think Legend of Grimrock could have been highlighted as this one is "the one" game which basically revived the whole genre. Whether I like it or not, it earned some credit for that.

I was a bit surprised you ignored pretty much all of it's clones, which have the same lack of quality in exploration. I mean there are quite few blobbers which have rather uninspired levels full with enemies, but nothing really interesting to look forward to.
I'd see Fall of the Dungeon Guardian as one of them, but that one at least has an interesting take on the combat system which actually works rather good (despite me disliking RTwP).

Of course there are other blobbers missing here, but I guess you also had to limit the list at some point.

I think Lands of Lore (was briefly mentioned) and Stonekeep (was not mentioned at all) could have received a bit more praise. In my opinion these games also brought the genre a bit more into the mainstream. They focused more on story and had a rather high production quality, voice overs and so on.

And you didn't mention the original Realms of Arkania Trilogy. First released in 1992 with Blade of Destiny, which was even before Wizardrdy 7. I think it was the first game with such a huge scope, and such a feeling of adventuring and exploration. I mean you could even stumble upon whole dungeons which were completely optional.

Last but not least, I also recommend MMX. Haven't played Operenica yet, which seems to be great as well, but so far I'd say that MMX is the best modern blobber.
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