Ibb & Obb Review
Sometimes an interesting premise is enough to propel a game to greatness. Take for example, the time mechanics that helped Braid revolutionize the platforming genre. In other situations, an interesting premise is a great place to start but eventually falters. That’s the case with the interesting but flawed new platformer, Ibb & Obb.
One of the newest releases on the PlayStation Network, Ibb & Obb is a traditional platformer that splits its gameplay in halves. Ibb & Obb splits the screen into two dimensions of gameplay: top and bottom. Imagine if you will playing a traditional 2D Mario game that adds Luigi running around upside down from his brother. In Ibb & Obb, each character’s jumps and moves affects the other. Often the two playable character flips their dimensions to progress through a level.
Flipping dimensions is an incredibly clever premise that works brilliantly at the start of Ibb & Obb. Players have to evaluate puzzles from a traditional perspective and then from an upside down point of view. While gamers are accustomed to jump distance in right-side up platformers, making the same leaps upside takes getting used to. Initially, it’s comparable to switching control styles in a first-person shooter. If you’re an inverted player, the standard control style takes some time for adjustment.
At first the puzzles in Ibb & Obb are fun to explore and provide a playful new take on the platform genre. Unfortunately, there’s not that much more to the game to explore. Once the novelty of playing upside down wears off, the puzzles become tedious, frustrating, and, just not that interesting. It feels like a design for a Mario stage or a tech demo, but there’s just not enough fun to be had here to spend an extensive amount of time with.
Beyond just the gameplay, Ibb & Obb forces players to play cooperatively. If you’re a gamer who normally plays alone, the single-player mode just won’t be fulfilling. From a value standpoint, this limits the audience for this game, and makes Ibb & Obb best played by gamers that enjoy co-operative platformer. If either of the players is impatient, working through the puzzles can be infuriating.
Finally, as far as graphics go, Ibb & Obb looks nice enough at the beginning. However, after delving a bit deeper the levels starting looking repetitive. Again, if evaluating the game as a tech demo, Ibb & Obb has plenty to offer. Unfortunately, as a complete game, it feels lacking in many ways, including the graphics.
Ibb & Obb offers an hour of intriguing ideas but loses steam too quickly. After that time, it will just sit on your hard drive unplayed as something newer and more resonant comes along. It’s a shame because there are some nice ideas here. Unfortunately, they’re just not fleshed out.