[EDIT: In the review we stated that the game has only 19 levels. This is incorrect. The following is a message from the developer ragarding this:
“You mentioned that there are only 19 levels, but there are actually 5 different zones, with a total of 86 levels. Each of these levels has a hard version that is totally redesigned, so that adds up to 172 levels. It takes around 10 hours to complete the normal version of the game, and could easily take another 20 hours to complete the hard levels.”
I used to hate platformer games. Didn’t have the patience for them when I first started gaming. Slowly over time, I’ve gained both some skill and patience and actually prefer such games. I picked Shorebound Studios’ new release, Bob Was Hungry, for what looked to be a fun, cute 3D platforming experience. I was in for a shock.
The opening cinematics were simple, a little cheesy, and almost misleading. I thought this game would be easy, at least to start, slowly hand-holding me into harder levels as I learned a couple moves. My little alien (who looks more like a meatball with eyes than anything) simply has to be guided to his dinner. Your time is only recorded if you also get the bottle of condiments before you finish the run and win your covered dish. Simple concept, but almost immediately, I was forced to rethink my expectations of this game. This precision platformer is absolutely no joke.
I can’t play more than a few attempts before I have to stop because my hands get too sweaty and I start getting that I-am-going-to-throw-my-controller-through-my-monitor feeling welling up from an evil place deep within my soul. Finally completing a level creates a rush of relief and congratulatory gloating to myself. Failing yet again usually leads to anything from a slight huff of annoyance to a long string of profanities. But, as a gamer, you know it’s kind of fun torturing yourself.
The controls are not like “real life.” Newton’s laws don’t quite apply here. You can move Bob around in the air, not following any Earthly-type physics rules. You can make him shoot farther, bounce up walls, and go backwards some, but he certainly is a victim to gravity. Don’t let him fall off a cliff or onto spikes or you’ll have to start over.
Wondering if maybe I just wasn’t cut out for this, being a newer gamer than my husband, I had him try it. It wasn’t long before he was grunting in frustration… and then cussing, which made me feel better about myself. There’s a lot of laughing in this game too- little Bob explodes in a fluffy mess of alien bits when you mess up.
The game offers a co-op option for 2-8 players. I have mixed feelings about it. The maps are the same. If one person gets the condiment, it applies to the group. If one person dies, they respawn where the other player is (although I’m not sure how it works for more than 2 players). It’s fun to play together, but the respawn point makes it almost too easy for you to pass together. For how hard the game is, I was surprised at this. Connecting locally was quick and straightforward.
If you love torturing yourself with learning precision moves to get through a map, this game is definitely for you. So far, it only has 19 levels*, but there are normal and hard difficulties to give you some replay value. The graphics are simple and colorful and Bob is a cute little alien, but there’s nothing adorable about the frustration you’re going to feel playing this!
Tl;dr – Bob Was Hungry is a difficult 3D platformer with a simple concept- get your Bob some food without dying. With unique physics “rules”, and lots of challenging moves to make, this game is perfect for the precision gamer. The £10.99/$14.99 price tag on Steam is a little steep for it being a small game, but it’s currently on sale for £7.33/$9.99.
Rating – 7/10
Purchase – Steam £10.99$14.99