Don't let the look confuse you. Meeblings may look a lot like the PSP platformer Loco Roco or the iPhone platformer Rolando, but we assure you, Meeblings is not a platformer. Unlike it's pre-existing lookalikes, Meeblings is a puzzle game in the same vein as Lemmings, Scribble, or World of Goo. You need to take control of the finger of God, and click these little Meeblings safely to the exit!
Meeblings is a puzzle game all about physics. In each level you'll guide a set number of meeblings to the exit using the different physics-based talents of all the meeblings in the group. Some meeblings can call the rest of the crew towards them. Some can push them away. As the game evolves you'll find a variety of meeblings with different abilities, but at the end of the day their mission is always the same – get their clan to the exit safely.
Gameplay here is incredibly simple. The meeblings are color-coded by the task they perform. Yellow meeblings can call their friends to them. Green meeblings turn into trees. The list goes on and on. Each meebling isn't much more than a cute little round blob with eyes, so identifying them by color and remembering who does what isn't very difficult. To get a meebling to do what they do, just click and hold on the meebling until you're satisfied with the results.
During the first half of the game we found that the levels were never very difficult, offering up a good deal of fun but very little challenge. Puzzles usually consisted of getting your meeblings across a big opening, navigating around fans, or merely guiding them through a simple environment to their exit. About halfway through we starting encountering puzzles with obvious solutions that were nearly impossible to implement, and it really became a fun stopper.
Challenges in a good puzzle game should come in finding the solution, not in trying to make that solution work. After awhile the fun and whimsy we had found in the first 20 or so levels of Meeblings started to wash away, with certain levels frustrating us to no end.
If you're not satisfied with the levels the developers included, Meeblings includes a level editor so that you can do your best to outshine the 50 levels that are already offered. To be honest, “includes” might not be the right word. If you want to develop your own levels you'll be redirected to meeblingsworld.com, a community site where people can both build their own levels and share them with the public. Even if you're not looking to assemble your own puzzles it's a great site to visit to experience some fantastic levels. You're going to find the challenge and elegance in some of these user-designed levels that was missing from the original release. These levels really showcase what Meeblings was meant to do.
Meeblings is a neat little puzzler with lots of great elements, but a few poorly designed puzzles in the second half of the game take Meeblings from fun to frustrating far too quickly. There's definitely some potential here, and we'd love to take another stab at what Meeblings has to offer in a future title. In the meantime, Meeblings is a puzzle game with simple solutions and difficult executions. So long as you're willing to move on to meeblingsworld, you're going to find a much richer experience in user content than you will in the games own 50 levels.