B.O.B.

B.O.B.
B.O.B.

The early days of Electronic Arts, before the mass near-monopoly on the gaming space, were a different time. From the strange mind of Chris Gray comes B.O.B., a cute orange gun-wielding robot.  What more do you need in a game?

Dad's going to be mad when I crash the car and get lost on a strange planet!
Dad's going to be mad when I crash the car and get lost on a strange planet!

The game is a classic platformer, where you get lost and have to find your way home.  It has the feel of Commander Keen and Contra games, which isn’t a bad thing.  Its biggest weakness is its contemporaries.  It’s no Super Metroid.  Sure the game is fun enough; the controls are ok, there’s a fair variety of weapons, and it is challenging without being rediculously frustrating (Super Pitfall, I’m looking at you).

Ouchies! I've fallen, and discombobulated!
Ouchies! I've fallen, and discombobulated!

But it still has that Commodore game feel to it.  The textures take good advantage of the SNES’s graphics engine, and the moving backgrounds are a nice touch, but in the end, it misses an opportunity by merely being good, when it could have been great.

The music doesn’t take advantage of the SNES’s amazing sound chip.  It sounds choppy, 8-bit-ish, and Atari-like.  A bit more of an effort could have been made.  Thumbs up for the theme, the cute wit, and the level design.  It reminds me of playing the classic Mega Man games, only with slightly better graphics, and a few extra twists.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing;  it just targets a particularly masochistic group of games, and has limited appeal beyond their ranks.

I'm sorry, B.O.B., but the way home is in another castle!
I'm sorry, B.O.B., but the way home is in another castle!

Verdict: While you probably wouldn’t mind playing this game, it’s easy to put it down.  There’s no real incentive to keep playing.  The character is cute, but you don’t build a relationship with him, and you don’t feel compelled to keep playing just to exit the stage and go to another one.  It takes a good stab at the classic platform genre, and is a good sample from the days where independent game developers could still get published by giants like EA.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s