๐ŸŒญ Teenage Blob | PC | Review | "If Sayonara Wild Hearts is The Popular Older Sister, Teenage Blob is Her Scrappy Little Brother" ๐ŸŒญ @PixelHunted #IndieGames #GameDev

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How do you get people to pay attention to music?

Everyone having access to the majority of all recorded music ever has turned it into background noise. 

Before the internet you might have trawled record fairs for that one bootleg album of rare cuts, going home and listening intently to the jewel you’d finally unearthed.

Now? Everything is a few clicks away. All of which makes one relatively new trend in video games very welcome: the ‘interactive album’.

The most famous example is the amazing Sayonara Wild Hearts, in which you zip through a neon-drenched virtual world to Daniel Olsรฉn and Jonathan Engkickass’ kickass synth-pop.

The act of playing means you don’t get distracted and the rhythm of the gameplay tangibly connects you to the music. And so to Team Lazerbeam’s Teenage Blob.

If Sayonara Wild Hearts is the popular older sister, Teenage Blob is her scrappy little brother hiding out in his bedroom refusing to come down for dinner. 

Presented in a loose hand-drawn DIY art style that’s vaguely reminiscent of gig posters of artists like Frank Kozik and Samuel B. Thorne, the game is the vehicle for a six-track EP by Philadelphia-based pop-punk band The Superweaks.

Your mission is to earn enough money to buy a new pair of boots and go to see The Superweaks. 

This is accomplished through a series of minigames. In “Guitar Zero” you play a Guitar Hero parody, in “Paperperson” is Paperboy and “Tony Dork’s Toad Skater” is… well, you can probably work that one out for yourself.

None of these games are hard and each lasts a couple of minutes. They all add up to a pretty slim experience - according to Steam my total time from loading it up to seeing the credits is 24 minutes. 

Brevity isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but there’s another factor at play that made this a very difficult 24 minutes.
I really hate pop-punk. Maybe there’s a place for it in the world, but that place was in like, 1999. In 2020 this plodding faux-rebellion is totally obsolete - the musical equivalent of turning up at a party in a ruff, breeches and powdered wig. 

The world has moved on from middle-class white guys pretending to kick back against a system that they actually quite like and pop-punk rightly resides in the dustbin of musical history.

I get that this is totally subjective, but for me, these songs have the emotional wallop of a glass of lukewarm water. They’re just ‘there’. And when the music of a music game makes you feel numb and vaguely annoyed? That’s a recipe for a bad time.

But hey, if you like this kind of music then I won’t judge you and you probably will enjoy this. 

Okay, I will judge you, but I promise I’ll do it quietly.

Ratings Explained
ICE COOL (Great Game Recommended)
MELTING (Recommended with reservations, one to consider if you are a fan of the genre)

MELTED (Not A Recommended Purchase)

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