Blinx the Time Sweeper
is a platform game
by Artoon and Microsoft Game Studios
, for the original Xbox
. It was an ill-fated attempt to give the console its own mascot, like Mario
, but the game failed due to clumsy controls and an overall negative reaction from gamers, sending Blinx to an early oblivion
—but not before starring in the game's only sequel
, Blinx 2: Masters of Time and Space
Blinx, so the story goes, is a Time Sweeper
, an employee of the Time Factory dedicated to the creation, distribution, and maintenance of time all across the dimensional axis. His job is important, because if glitches in time aren't found and fixed hastily, they could result in Time Monsters that threaten innocent civilians. When a group of evil pigs called the Tom-Tom Gang cause a major disruption in World B1Q64, the Time Factory stops its time stream, freezing all of its inhabitants indefinitely. In spite of this, Blinx receives a distress call
from a young local princess, Lena, pleading for help.
Disregarding orders, Blinx leaps into a Time Portal and sets out to help her.
This game and its sequel feature examples of:
- 100% Completion - To get the Infinity Plus One Sweeper you must slog through and complete all the levels while finding the hidden cat medals.
- All Your Base Are Belong to Us - In Blinx 2, after the first Sweeper mission, the base is overrun by Tom-Toms. Also, later, when the Sweepers have several of the Big Crystal fragments, you have to play as the Tom-Toms breaking into the Time Factory to steal them.
- Anvil on Head - One of the second game's weapons for the Tom-Tom gang drops a metal tub on the target's head.
- American Kirby Is Hardcore - The current page image of Blinx shows the cute cuddly Blinx from the Japanese box. Elsewhere, Blinx shows his many, many spiky teeth.
- Attack Of The 50 Ft Whatever - Benito the Great.
- Batter Up - The Grand Slam from the second game. One-use item that makes the victim A Twinkle in the Sky. Very satisfying to use on an annoying guard.
- Boss Bonanza: Momentopolis, from the first game.
- Bragging Rights Reward - Completing all of the challenges in Blinx 2 and saving every last medal gets you a picture of the shopkeeper from Blinx 1.
- Colour Coded Time Stop
- Clock Roaches - Unswept Time Crystals become Time Monsters. The sole objective of the first game is to eliminate all of them in each stage.
- Convection Schmonvection - Played completely straight in the final world, Blinx can be two inches from lava while standing on a metal surface suspended above flames and be completely unharmed.
- Cycle of Hurting - Fairly easy to stumble into, since extra lives function by rewinding time in the stage by a few seconds. Thus, if you happened to already be stuck at the point it rewinds to, you end up having to either restart the level or just watch yourself die over and over.
- Eldritch Abomination
- Enemy Mine: At the end of Blinx 2, the Tom Toms realise that stealing the Big Crystal is going to destroy time itself, so your Time Sweeper team and your Tom Tom team work together to defeat the Scissor demon.
- Feed It a Bomb: The best way to kill Keroppers (And the Kerofish from the sequel) is to shoot bombs at them, because they have an annoying habit of swallowing ammo.
- Funny Animal - The page picture should be a clue. The Time Factory's staff and the Time Sweepers are anthropomorphic cats, and the time-stealing Tom-Toms are anthropomorphic pigs.
- Jumped at the Call - Blinx, big time.
- Nintendo Hard - The last two worlds of the first game (Everwinter, Forge Of Hours) and the final boss (Momentopolis).
- Eternal Engine - The final world (Forge Of Hours). It features plenty of jumping between gears, spikes, and copious amounts of lava.
- Mineral MacGuffin - Although there are Time Crystals all over the place, only the Big Crystal in Blinx 2 is a proper MacGuffin. The Tom-Tom leader wants it because it's shiny.
- Mission Control - They're there in Blinx 1, but after Blinx jumps in the portal, you never hear from them again. In the sequel, you wish you could be so lucky. Your 'Operator' directs you every step of the way and more or less gives away every puzzle.
- Orange/Blue Contrast - Time Factory architecture is typically all blue with orange highlights. This carries over to the game interface when playing as a Time Sweeper. Blinx wears a blue jumper and is an orange cat (moreso in the sequel where he appears in cutscenes within the Time Factory on badly calibrated TVs as an orange blur on a solid blue background. In the first game, he's more cherry red.)
- Press X to Not Die - Giant cannon pops out in front of you? No problem, just press X.
- Reset Button - The retries.
- Save the Princess: In the first game.
- Slippy-Slidey Ice World - World 7 - Everwinter.
- Speaking Simlish - In Blinx: TTS, the cast spoke in a gibberish language, but in Blinx 2, they all speak English (Or it is at least translated into English).
- Stealth-Based Game - As a Tom-Tom, you're supposed to sneak into and out of Sweeper controlled areas by using gadgets with Space-manipulating powers.
- Sequel Difficulty Drop - The sequel took some flak for taking this a bit too far.
- Tank Goodness - The Tom-Toms get a tank in the sequel.
- Time Crash - The Time Factory creates and supplies time to all 'worlds'. Leaving unswept Time Crystals in a world makes it difficult to do that, and B 1 Q 64's supply of time would have had to be frozen for the safety of all the other worlds if it weren't for Blinx's intervention. In the sequel, an attack on the Time Factory stops the entire factory from functioning. We're led to believe that this is very bad. Then on top of that, the Time Goddesses decide that perhaps the universe isn't so great after all.
- Time Master - The Time Sweepers, including Blinx himself.
- Timed Mission - In Blinx 1, there's an instant game over once the timer reaches 10 minutes from Blinx's perspective, regardless of how many RETRY powers you're holding. Probably justified by the imminent collapse of time in World B1Q64.
- Took a Level in Badass: Blinx himself. While true, he was pretty competent in the first game, by the time the second rolled around, he not only had a new (very cool) voice, but but apparently learnt some new tricks: in the opening sequence alone, he saves a squad of Time Sweepers from a missile by slowing time, jumps on and across the debris while still in slow time, and even gets a good version of a Good Scars, Evil Scars.
- Turns Red - A number of the later bosses do this around half health.
- Villainous Glutton - The pigs of the Tom-Tom gang, especially their boss Benito.
- Virtual Paper Doll - Rather than playing as Blinx in the second game, you design your own characters to play as.
- Weapons That Suck - The Time Sweepers' main method of attack.
- Weird Moon - A sizable bite seems to have been taken off World B1Q64's moon.