You might be forgiven at first glance to draw quick comparisons between Minotaur China Shop developer Flashbang’s just-released Blush and thatgamecompany’s PS3/PSP indie bedrock fl0w, but the two have little in common past their deep sea struggle.
Instead, Blush is another game in what is emerging as a Flashbang studio-signature as reliable as the Animal/Heavy Machinery meme they’ve seemingly just now deposed: as also evidenced in their original Raptor Safari and the later iPhone Raptor Copter, Flashbang have a passion for flagellation, be it by industrial mace [this kind] or, now, with literal flagella.
Because unlike fl0w or its later twice-removed cousin in the first stage of Spore, Blush is less about eat or be eaten — less about the head and more about the tail. It’s more about tracing graceful but deadly arcs through the water, and quickboosts to waypoints to deposit eggs collected through your kills, which grow your tentacles and further increase your speed.
As with nearly all of its web and iPhone ilk, it’s an arcade-style race against the clock for high scores and achievements — almost more of a sport than a natural sim, with a steady ramp of earned skill and subsequent challenge, and that ever present one-more-go urge when you see how pathetically you’ve stacked up to the rest on, even your best runs.
It’s also aggressively beautiful, everything softly and semi-translucently neon lit, and while it may not have the mathematical complexity or the slapstick charm of something like China Shop (in fact, it might be their most ‘serious’ game to date), it’s every bit as confidently constructed and polished as anything they’ve done.