Blender Defender: Putting a New Spin on “A Healthy Lifestyle”
Against the backdrop of garish tropical locations, you seek to make the freshest and most tropical juice of all. And you can’t get fruits fresher than these; armed with an increasing arsenal of weapons, they’re not going down without a fight. To get your hard-earned juice, you’re going to need your wits about you, and victory will taste all the sweeter.
The gameplay is reasonably simple and well introduced through the tutorial. The objective of a level is to trap the oncoming fruits in bubbles (done by circling them) and dragging them inside your blender before they reduce your health bar to 0 and break your blender from the outside, preventing their demise. To help you, you have the option of freezing them, blowing them away and kicking them from the blender, each of which you can do only once per level. Once you’ve blended all of them, you progress to the next level, where a larger and more exotic glass of juice awaits.
I expect many gamers early on will be compelled to throw their device across the room by the repeated frustration of having their bubbles bounce off the edge of the blender instead of dropping in, something that players might frequently face at first due to the unforgivingly small size of the blender. This is, however, soon relegated to a minor annoyance as you get used to the necessary movements and hence, I would urge anyone irked by this to first persevere a bit longer.
The game has a peculiar learning curve, nose-diving in difficulty after each stage (when the number of fruits returns to the amount at Level 1, but now deal more damage), and then ramping up several notches at around Level 10 with the re-introduction of cherries, unleashing swarms of delicious but deadly flying seed-spewers which take down your health rapidly. While some may find this dip to be a welcome breather and confidence booster, others may see having to plough through 10 straightforward levels to return to the previous intensity as a waste of time. What it does highlight for sure, is the sudden change in gameplay style, going from an exercise in accuracy to frenzied damage control that is conquered through careful timing and tactics.
If you struggle at a certain level, there is the option of buying power-ups with the coins you gain from progress. These do not add variation to the game, but simply make the tools you have at your disposal more powerful. Power-ups do, however, make earlier stages trivial and therefore reduce the replay value of the game once you complete it. Those who improve at the game at a slower rate or do not spend wisely may find themselves having to grind, which for some could be a potential write-off for a portable device game.
Despite several key flaws, Blender Defender is an addictive and likeably wacky game. If a sequel is made, I’d like to see it have more variation in gameplay style as you progress up the stages and to hinge less on simply overwhelming you with massive mobs of fruit coming at you a lot quicker than 5-a-day, but for now this is worth a spin.
Blender Defender Promotional Youtube Video