Friday, November 28, 2014

ibb & obb (video game)

ibb & obb, Sparpweed, Puzzle Platformer, Indie, Co-op, May 26, 2014.

Synopsis: ibb & obb is a two player cooperative game set in a puzzle filled world where gravity goes both up and down. You can only succeed by working closely together. Find a friend for some true local co-op couch fun or match up online.

My thoughts: Are you looking for another fun puzzle game? As a fan of the genre myself, I can say I look often. This game stood out for it's art style, co-op, and simplicity.

When it comes to puzzle platformers, ibb & obb uses a recently popular mind-bending alteration on physics. Many of its peer platformers have also used dual or mirrored characters, but not quite in this same way. In those, you the player are able to control both. Here, each character must fend for himself, but also cooperate to succeed. It has taken cues from the co-op element of Portal, but is still self-contained.

While I typically don't enjoy platformers in the genre, this was an exception. Simplicity is key, and the developers executed it very well. It doesn't remain the same throughout, and there is clear progression in the art, but it's always minimal, clean, and fresh. The smooth dream-like artistry behind it, including the music, is excellent and I applaud it.

There is hardly any story, which is fine with this game, and what exists is only shown visually, and you are up to interpret it. It's not as integral, but makes for a neat dynamic if you think about it. I think this part could be developed further. While it's clean, and I like that, it's not overly progressed. It appears, and then goes nowhere. Because of this, it doesn't stick with you long after you play. It's good and lovely mental and cooperative exercise, but not much more.

The puzzle difficulty is variable, and you can choose to pursue more challenging ones that don't hinder you from the main drive. Co-op makes this a lot of fun, as you decipher these physics traps together. It's a good communication and team-building exercise also. It certainly delivers on mental puzzlers, and if you enjoy them, I recommend it to you.

My rating: 85/100

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