Release Date: 3 December 2015
Maybe I just haven’t given this game enough of a chance. Maybe as Super Mega Bob continues it begins to unravel into an epic tale of love and loss with excellent mechanics and level design. Maybe it’s a clever twist on the genre that you only find out several hours in (like Spec Ops: The Line). But if somebody who’s almost professionally obliged to give the game at least an hour or so of play can’t face anymore after about forty minutes you’re doing something wrong.
The opening cutscene is a sweet if generic tale of some idealised world torn apart by some kind of explosion. You (as Bob) with your new pair of hands set out to find your best friend and lover. There’s a lot of story strewn throughout the levels which you can find but again, it’s mostly fairly generic and uninteresting.
The gameplay has you floating around a world either killing ‘x’ enemies or collecting ‘y’ coins before reaching the end of the level. Enemies mostly ignore your existence and are more like obstacles to avoid and with the added time slow avoiding their bullets is easy. Not only this but almost immediately I found that my range far exceeded any opponents so I could easily sit back without risk. The game is shaken up a bit with the bosses and mini-bosses and these present the main challenge in the game, and yet despite this they don’t really add much; only needing to avoid more difficult bullet waves and taking more damage.
The game seems to have a fairly in-depth upgrade system which is almost completely unneeded. You can both craft and get upgrades as drops which are mostly fractional upgrades to your speed, attack and range. However these RPG-like upgrades just don’t match the platformer style of the game. The sound design also swaps between being boring and outright annoying. Many of the sound effects are ear splitting and the music tinny and annoying such that I turned off the sound after only a few levels.
The real moment that made me quit was when I reached a room where I needed a bomb to reach the end of the level. However I had no bombs on me nor were any present in the room. In order to clear it I’d need to back track to a previous level pick one up. This kind of backtracking was simply something I wasn’t prepared to do and probably means that there is more of it further in the game.
Super Mega Bob feels like someone’s first project, and maybe it is! But if that’s the case this game belongs on sites like congregate for free not on steam even for the relatively low price of just over £3.