‘Ibb and Obb’ plays with Gravity

Ibb+and+Obb

Ibb and Obb

George Treviranus, Staff Writer

If there’s one thing I appreciate most in a gaming experience, it is storytelling through minimalism. A few games have come out in the last two years that reflect that philosophy well: Bastion, Journey and FEZ to name a few. With Ibb & Obb, we have yet another compelling indie title that focuses heavily on puzzles and adventure.

You play as, you guessed it, Ibb and Obb. The game’s niche style is that of double-sided levels, such that jumping through a small opening in the ground lets you interact with the bottom portion of the stage.

As such, gravity is reversed. It poses a unique way of defeating foes, where one player must be below, while the other is on top. By touching the enemies’ small white orb (or sometimes very big) opposite to the enemy, it will cause them to disappear and little crystals left to collect. These crystals will disappear over time, so it’s essential that teamwork takes place fluidly and timely.

It felt as though this requirement to cooperate is what helps push this title to be so fun. I can’t say I’ve had this much fun with friends in a long time. Certainly, it’s rewarding and keeps you coming back to get the highest score possible. In fact, not only is multi-player encouraged, but single player is almost like Hard Mode by comparison, where each analog on your PS3 controller controllers either Ibb or Obb. If there is a drawback to the gameplay, it lies in single player mode.

Small Easter-egg puzzles are hidden throughout each stage. They provide an extra boost in points and challenge your ability to bring the game’s mechanics to the absolute limit. It’s challenging and brings a unique twist to side-scrollers.

Apart from raw gameplay and experience, the visuals in the game are dramatically simple and stunning. Smooth gradients and transitions in colors/shapes make for, at the very least, nice eye candy.

It’s clear the developers tried to do the most with a limited palette of visual elements. Speaking of which, the user interface of the game is non-existent, which is to be expected considering the only actions are running and jumping.

The music compliments everything nicely, as well. It is subtle but small interactions yield pleasant sounds.

The jingling of bells is common and adds to the sound design in a positive manner.

Overall, Ibb and Obb is a great multiplayer experience. It brings solid visual and conceptual experiences to a challenging puzzle platformer.

What’s better is its price point at only $10 on the PlayStation Store.