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Video Game / Planet Blupi

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Our yellow egg-shaped hero versus the baddies.
Planet Blupi, developed by Daniel Roux and Denis Dumoulin (succeeded by Mathieu Schroeter in 2017), is an isometric Real-Time Strategy Puzzle Game for Windows released in 1997 by EPSITEC.

The plot is as follows: A spaceship has crashed into the titular planet, causing a brief fire and alerting the Blupis. A blue robot comes out of it and begins building his own factory complex and tries to wipe out the entire Blupi population to claim the entire planet.

The gameplay involves you, the player, giving commands to Blupis to perform various tasks, from simply walking to building things. A Blupi has his own Life Meter, signified by the blue ring around his feet and the usual blue (red if low) gauge on the HUD, both if he's selected. The Life Meter depletes whenever he performs a task, and if it gets low (red), the Blupi will turn into a Tired Blupi, who moves really slowly and is unable to perform most tasks until being fed with tomatoes. If it gets too low, the poor Tired Blupi will immediately stop moving after walking a single tile regardless of the distance you want him to travel, and he'll keep doing this until he runs out of energy and dies.

Despite the simple gameplay, the game consists of 30 missions in the main campaign, which gets increasingly harder (except for the last one) and requires more thinking and puzzle-solving, as well as strategy-building and quick reflexes when it comes to anticipating incoming enemies.

The game's full version comes with a Level Editor in the form of the "Construction" mode, which allows you to create up to 20 custom missions.

A sequel in the form of Platform Game Speedy Eggbert was released a year later.

This game is now open-source, being rereleased for free to celebrate its 20th anniversary. It's also compatible with Linux and macOS now. The Twitter account BlupiGames (Facebook page goes here) posts updates not only regarding this game, but also other Blupi-related news and information (including few mentions of this very page). The game's updates can also be tracked in this GitHub page.

This game provides examples of:

  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Downplayed. Near the endgame, the Blupis managed to gain access to enemy technology in the form of platin(i)um, which is used to build a robot on their own. The robot, aptly-named Helper Robot, can perform tasks without running out of energy (moving faster than Blupis also helps) and is invulnerable to fire, Viruses, Bulldozers and Electrocutor's sparks. However, there's only one in existence (in the main campaign, at least) and can still be easily destroyed by explosives and Bouncing Bombs. Also, it can't do things that Blupis can, like riding boats across a body of water.
  • Airborne Mook: The "Virus" enemy, being a group of, well, airborne viruses. This is shown by them being able to cross watery areas to get to the Blupis.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: If you're stuck in a mission, the Help button (marked with a question mark) becomes available, allowing you view those hints. It still has a possibility of not being too clear of when and where your task should take place, but at least you won't scream Guide Dang It! too much.
    • If you have a Blupi who is doing a repetitive chain of tasks, you can set him to repeat those actions by picking the "Repeat" option from the drop-down menu (don't right-click on this case). This makes managing Blupis' specific tasks less tedious. However, not all missions support this though.
  • Armor of Invincibility: A Blupi wearing armor does not lose energy and is completely invulnerable to viruses, bulldozers, explosions, Electrocutor's sparks and even fire (which makes no sense) and can even transport and use dynamite without killing themselves. This comes at the drawback of being unable to use a boat, use buildings, jump across gaps, or anything except pickup and drop items or detonate explosives.
  • Big Bad: The Master Robot. And you can encounter multiple of them in a single mission.
  • Classic Cheat Code: By typing a certain word in-game, you can either refill all Blupis' energy and cure the sick ones, make all Blupis' Life Meter stay full regardless of task, make the Blupis outright invincible, clear out all the black fog that limits your vision, among others.
  • Context-Sensitive Button: The right-click allows a Blupi to perform a task related to the object clicked without resorting to picking an option from the drop-down menu. For example, right-clicking the ground gives the "Go" command without needing to pick such option. Certain objects cannot be simply right-clicked on, though.
  • Controllable Helplessness: When you're about to fail, you have a second to interact with the on-screen things before the "mission failed" screen shows up.
  • Cruelty Is the Only Option: Some missions involve you having to build protection towers, walls, or both, which instantly kill the Blupis that work on them after doing so, thanks to them spending the entire Life Meter to build those buildings.
    • The same can be said if a mission requires you to manually detonate dynamites, either due to the lack of time bombs or lack of enemies capable of running over them. Keep in mind that doing so means that you have to sacrifice a Blupi.
  • Destroyable Items: Every item can be destroyed in one way or another, usually via explosion.
  • Difficulty Levels: The main campaign comes with two difficulty levels, Easy and Difficult.
  • The Engineer: Both the Blupis and Master Robot fight using technology, with the Blupi side relying only from natural resources while the Master Robot can simply build factories on his own.
  • Fast-Forward Mechanic: You can fast-forward twice the in-game time by either manually setting the game speed to x2 in the settings or pressing F6. F7 will make everything go in quadruple speed. F8 will make everything go eight times faster. (note that the latter two speeds can only be accessed if you've typed "QUICK" to enable them)
  • The Food Poisoning Incident: If a Spider eats some poison, it'll stay in place for a while before spinning and making low-pitched vomiting sounds. Afterwards, it lays down while twitching its legs before dying.
  • Foreboding Architecture: If you see some grayish blue floor, you know for sure that you're nearing the enemy's territory.
  • Four-Legged Insect: The Spiders in this game have six legs instead of eight like the actual arachnid. Somewhat justified that they're created using some sort of alien technology.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: As an introduction to the Master Robot, the cutscene shows him moving to the viewer and pinching the camera, resulting in loss of camera feed and static.
  • Game-Over Man: The "mission failed" screen features a disappointed Blupi standing in front of his house in a dark and foggy forest. No unnerving-looking Big Bad in sight, but still really unnerving to look at.
  • Giant Spider: The "Spider" enemy, which is nearly as large as a Blupi. They only eat tomatoes, not Blupis, but they're still really annoying.
  • Green Hill Zone: The prairie and forest sceneries.
  • Hell Is That Noise: An incoming Bulldozer's noise (or worse, noises caused by an Electrocutor about to attack) pretty much signifies you to RUN, especially if you're completely defenseless.
    • The same can be said for the Bouncing Bomb, which spends most of its time standing still. When you suddenly hear that "boink" sound, flee! (note that it won't stop even if no Blupis are nearby, as it also targets the Blupis' items/tools/vehicles!)
    • The noise that a dead Blupi makes before disappearing from view (not the ones that are caused voluntarily). You know you're screwed if you happen to hear them, especially if you've lost track of your other Blupis or your own defense. Worse if the mission requires you to avoid having less than the required Blupis. In that case, say hello to the depressed Blupi!
  • Hit-and-Run Tactics: A preferable way of attacking enemies, since you only rely on items to do the job. Basically, you drop the item (optional: you can activate them if they can be activated) then run to safety. Not applied to dynamites if you choose to activate them, though, as it kills the Blupi activating one on the spot.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Tomatoes revitalize tired Blupis, restoring their energy by a large amount.
  • Hyperactive Sprite: The Spider and Viruses are the only ones whose sprites are constantly in motion even when they stay in one place.
  • Idle Animation: If a Blupi is left alone for a while, he'll either wave his hand, scratch his head, or playing with his yo-yo.
  • Involuntary Group Split: Certain missions have a group of Blupis separated into two or more smaller groups (the reasons usually mentioned in the mission info), and you have to carefully manage each group to complete the mission.
  • Isometric Projection
  • Item Caddy: While the Blupis can build many stuff to support themselves in survival and combat, these creatures actually rely entirely on using items to fight. An unarmed Blupi is a dead Blupi in battlefield.
  • Item Crafting: Done in either the workshop or the laboratory, depending on the ingredient you're going to use. Pieces of iron and platinium go into the former, while stuff like flowers and tomatoes go into the latter. Only one of each is required to make a single item, and each ingredient aside from iron (which can be made into one of three items) can result in a unique item exclusive to that ingredient.
  • Jump Scare: The "mission failure" screen can be this, especially if you're not expecting it.
  • Level Goal: Usually Blupi's house in most missions. Striped paving stones also count too, if the mission requires putting objects on them.
  • Level-Map Display: Your map radar. However, not all of the area is visible much like in the actual display, as you have to clear out the black fog to see more of the level.
  • Life Meter: Marked by a blue gauge/ring on a selected Blupi. Turns into red if the Blupi in question is low on energy.
  • Magnet Hands: Or Magnet Head. Blupis will always hold "small" objects on their head. The items will never be dropped no matter what unless you command the Blupis to drop them.
  • Mook Maker: Master Robot's factories produce enemies.
  • Mooks Ate My Equipment: Spiders are capable of eating your tomatoes. Thankfully, they also attempt to eat a pile of poisoned tomatoes or hop on sticky traps.
    • The bulldozers, while not really eating so much as actually flattening the items, can be seen as this.
  • No Body Left Behind:
    • Characters killed by explosives immediately disappear from their spots.
    • Blupis killed by fire/sparks or flattened by Bulldozers will briefly leave their charred/flat corpse before disappearing.
    • Spiders killed by poison will lie on their backs, twitching, for some time before disappearing.
    • The protection towers' electricity will zap and fully disintegrate organic enemies that walk/fly into it.
    • Enemies trapped on sticky traps will stay visible on the map, but they can still be cleared by an explosion.
  • No Punctuation Period: Some of the text in the Training/Mission info have this problem.
  • Not Playing Fair With Resources: In missions featuring Master Robot, it is shown that he's capable of building factories without needing to use any form of resources. Thankfully, it's balanced a bit by having him stop by his own building as a form of cooldown. Also, he moves really slowly, allowing you to take your time in building your strategy.
  • One-Hit Kill: Many things: Explosives (including the enemy variant, Bouncing Bomb), sticky traps (for enemies that can run over them), poisoned tomatoes (for Spiders), Bulldozers and Electrocutor's sparks (for Blupis), fire (for organic creatures, including Blupis) and protection towers' electric barrier (for Spiders and Viruses).
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: All enemies die in one hit.
    • While Helper Robot doesn't seem to be this due to having a seemingly never-emptying Life Meter, he can die as easily as the others from explosions.
  • One-Man Army: You can invoke this yourself in missions involving destroying enemy bases by having only a single Blupi actively preparing and launching attacks. Some missions can simply end up as this too.
  • Palette Swap: Helper Robots are simply the gray version of Master Robots but with a round head.
  • Player Mooks: Your Blupis depend on you.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: All Blupis' houses are pink with a flower pattern.
  • Save Scumming: You just have to do this in the more difficult missions. Since you can save at any point in the game, it's best to keep track of whether you're making progress to victory or you're nearing failure.
  • Scare Chord: The very short tune when you fail a mission. It doesn't help that the failure screen looks unnerving.
  • Shifting Sand Land: The desert scenery.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The snowy forest scenery.
  • Sore Loser: In the last mission, Master Robot got so fed up after losing the battle against Blupis that he refuses to move from his spot until you clear out the path for him.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Blupimania, the more obscure Blupi game for the Smaky and DOS (though it received a 3D sequel), which is also a puzzle-oriented game involving getting Blupis to finish a given mission.
  • Squashed Flat: How the Bulldozers kill Blupis.
  • Sticky Situation: Sticky traps make ground-bound enemies suffer from this, which causes them to be immediately frozen in place if they step on those traps.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: The items dynamite and time bomb, the latter of which can reach a bigger blast radius.
    • The enemy variant is the aptly-named Bouncing Bomb.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: Turning your tomatoes into poison in laboratories is actually a recommended tactic against Spiders.
  • Teleportation with Drawbacks: Using planks of wood, Blupis can build teleporters, a 2x2 floor which are the blue version of incubators. They can only go to other teleporters.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Certain enemies are attracted to your traps and are more likely to step on them.
    • Viruses, being Airborne Mook, pretty much ignore the ground-bound traps, but are still willing to float around when explosives are going off or go through the electric barrier created by the protection towers.
    • The Blupis can be this too, if some missions' descriptions are an indication. For example, one mission's background has a Blupi observing Master Robot so much that he ended up stuck in the latter's base. Obviously, it's up to you to avert his horrible fate.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Those Blupis really like tomatoes.
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable: Trust me, your own mistakes can lead you to getting stuck in a mission (especially if you've saved often in the middle of such mistakes), if it decided to not outright end the mission by failure, that is.
  • Victory Pose: The "mission completed" screen features a happy Blupi raising his fist in triumph.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: You can keep the Blupis energized by feeding them tomatoes and cure the sick ones by giving them medicine. Returning lost Blupis to their home also counts.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: You can force Blupis to perform many tasks without rewarding them with food, thus starving them and killing them once their energy runs out. You can also kill off Blupis by killing them in an explosion or exposing them to killer enemies.
  • Video Game Objectives: Ranges from having all Blupis go into their houses to waiting until the fire goes out. The "Construction" mode provides the objective list for you to play with.
  • Video Game Tutorial: The "Training" missions. There are four of them in the demo version, while the full version contains six.
  • War Has Never Been So Much Fun: If a mission involving destroying one or more enemy bases takes place, expect the battle to be like this, thanks to the colorful characters.
  • A Winner Is You: Finishing all missions, tutorial or main campaign, simply gives you a "victory" screen.