Deceptively Simple or Simply Deceptive? – Ibb & Obb
Last October we reviewed a quirky little Co-Op Playstation 3 title called Ibb & Obb. The game tasks the player and their friend with traversing a variety of levels, whilst overcoming a tonne of brain-scratching puzzles. It was received very positively here at CIG, and Gordon saw fit to award it an 8/10. Not content with conquering just the PS3 its developer, Codeglue, has brought it to PC so we too can be as confused as our console brethren.
The game drops you straight into the action with no introduction, no tutorial and no story. It’s quite a fitting start to the adventure, and for what is to follow. Both you and your friend take control of little blobs of green and pink. You can run and jump, but, most interestingly, you can also draw on-screen to devise plans with your friend, to overcome the game’s many puzzles.
Sure enough, the game begins pretty simply, with you both running and jumping your way across the first few levels. Occasionally you’ll cooperatively kill a few monsters, which tosses shards of collectible crystals across the screen. After it has lulled you into a false sense of security, the game introduces a very sharp difficulty spike. Puzzles become ever more obtuse, which left us scratching our heads in confusion, and clenching our fists in frustration. You see, the game requires Ibb & Obb to be in perfect sync with one another, both players must know what to do and when to do it. Good timing and clear communication are the main tools you will require to overcome its many puzzles. The puzzles themselves are never truly that difficult to complete, but they require a certain mindset to overcome. Both Shanice and I wracked our brains thinking how we could get past the hurdles that we were facing, only for us to give in and to search for walk through videos on YouTube – merely for reference of course! Much to our chagrin the solutions were, more often than not, extremely simplistic. And that’s the beauty of Ibb & Obb, it can make you feel so challenged and so silly, with so little. It’s seemingly complex puzzle design belies a game that is actually very simple.
From its energetic but somehow laid-back soundtrack, to its vivid and colourful landscapes that we can only describe as “picasso-esque”; Ibb & Obb allows simplicity and complexity to be at one with each other.
We were particularly impressed with how well the game has made the transfer from PS3 to PC. It features all of the options you have come to expect from PC titles (resolution and so on). Setting up a game with a friend was also incredibly easy; the invitation process was very simple, and we were up and playing within a minute or so. Once we were in-game, there was little to no lag and gameplay was smooth with no major hiccups. Console to PC ports can be a tricky business, but Ibb & Obb does it just right.
There was a feeling of jealousy here at CIG, for those of us who didn’t own a PS3,when Ibb & Obb was released. Fortunately, the gaming Gods have smiled down upon us with, possibly, the definitive version of the game. Although it may have vexed us, sometimes to the point of frustration, we enjoyed its brand of “so difficult, but so simple” puzzles. What’s more, it’s priced very reasonably too, with a sizeable discount if you buy a copy for yourself and a friend! If you enjoy a challenge and have the ability to think laterally, you owe it to yourself to give Ibb & Obb a try.
Ibb & Obb is available on Steam.