Brilliant Bob – 0.4 /5.0 Shurikens

Brilliant Bob – Broken Bob

Brillaint bob logo

Intro

This is going to be a lengthy post, but at least there are pictures.

So as I was perusing my steam library for more potential games that I could play to write some stuff about. I found a peculiar entry in my games library. A game with the name of brilliant Bob, and for the life of me I couldn’t figure out when I bought it or what it was about, so I popped up the community hub for this game and saw the developers of the game gifted this title to all of the owners of one of their previous games with the name “why so evil”.

Well I couldn’t even remember purchasing “why so evil”, but I was thankful none the less for the addition of the game into my collection. So I started the download, watched some YouTube content, until it was finished and ready to go.

I went in blind, all that I had seen was some mixed reviews on the steam page, as with a lot of games, some people love them, some people hate them. Very soon the bright colors of the game started to fade in my mind as I was hit with issue after issue, a barrage of absolute game design flaws all over the place.

Now before anyone says anything about me just hating on the game, this is from my perspective and with a little bit of digging, a shared one at that. I have some constructive criticism for the game developers, but I have to review it in the state that it currently is, as is, as a storefront product that these developers sell to people.

coming in at $2.99 or your regional equivalent, let’s set sights on what this game is all about.

Gameplay

So let’s start at the beginning this game has a protagonist named Bob, a purple square fellow with a mean looking grin on his face. Bob together with his family was a happy bunch, until the main antagonist pops up from a depressed planet in search of happiness. Well this Dr. Malgazi didn’t come for answers to the questions, nope, he came with weaponry that steals happiness.

So he invades Bob’s planet, Bob destroys the doctor’s spaceship and whilst distracted the dude teleports away with Bob’s parents. What course of action will Bob take? to go get his parents back of course!
Having to navigate his planet in this 3D platform game.

That sounds fun, doesn’t it? In a desperate turmoil to save the little guy’s parents, right? There aren’t words to properly describe how wrong you are about that.

This whole plot line starts as soon as you launch the game, presented in a frame-by-frame presentation with sound that actually could damage your ears, like not kidding, the volume shreds through your skull.

intro box

The presentation, contains images that completely artifacts, effects that looks out of place, a font that is atrocious, horrible delivery and to top it off, the actual background of the game can bee seen around the presentation square. I thought at first, that maybe my resolution settings wasn’t really properly set for the game, but, no, at any resolution that I could choose it did the same thing. So right off the bat you are witnessing nothing less than lazy. This at least you can skip by hitting the escape key and you land on the main menu.
Many reviewers do what I do and go to the options menu to see what it offers, in this case, nothing. Pretty much just ludicrous looking volume sliders, I actually had to sit and try figure out what my brain was experiencing from seeing these.

menu screen

Most of the options as with many Unity driven games are set with the launcher.So if you would like to adjust something like the resolution or control mappings, yup, you guessed it, you have to exit everything, set it in the launcher and then hop back into the game. This caused quite the pain, because when I booted into the game’s first level, it ran like, well, I would rather say it crawled like absolute trash. I could count the frames on both of my hands at the best of times. With this said, I don’t expect much out of my rig, but when you advertise a game with recommended settings that I could find on a computer in my teenage years, I sure as hell expect a semi-modern piece of equipment to handle the game at maximum settings.

This of course wasn’t the case. I had to relaunch the game through all of the graphics settings to get to a playable frame rate, at lowest graphics I finally struck gold. Luckily it didn’t make a dent in the visual quality of the game, which is odd, or I really went into this game literally blind, but nothing went missing that I would miss.

Initial aggravation and frustration out of the way I started running towards my first jump in this platformer, only to be interrupted by nothing other than the camera itself, it goes into a small cinematic showing you the layout of the current level. I wouldn’t have minded it that much, but show it to me before I start playing the level not after I am already in battle stations ready for some action.

Anyways, I jump through the first level like a breeze and hit the finish line, warp into the next level and a disturbing tool-tip pops up on the screen. “Use Q or E to rotate the camera”. Not a bad thing, right? well in most other platformers, no it isn’t, in this case it is absolutely detrimental. The “default” camera of the game only keeps Bob in view and doesn’t adjust at all.The only way of actually seeing where the blazes you should jump to next is by manually rotating the camera.

Annoying? It sure is, but you said detrimental, well, this game is stacked from level to level with vanishing platforms, I almost want to say that most of the platforms in this game vanishes when you make contact with them. This means that when you jump to a platform you can’t see the next platform due to it being behind the frikken camera itself, you have about two seconds to turn the slowly rotating camera and get your jump off before you find yourself falling and having to restart the level from scratch again. The menace with the mechanics of character and camera control is enough to make you wish you were trying to lick a cactus instead.

Bob moves like he is in a drunken sluggish state at the best of times, the camera is clunky and slow and I still need to mention three more things and I’ve already written close to a book so far. Let us quickly blast through the three aforementioned. Bob’s double jump works only when it wants to based on level and platforms, the platforms actually moves your character around when they change direction and the enemy slimes in the game is your best ally since you can bounce on them without taking any sort of damage or penalty, whilst gaining more height with each bounce. You can literally clear some of the stages by jumping on the slime, leaving your controls for a few minutes and then just casually drop to the finish teleporter. Speaking of dropping, the air control is slower than me trying to get up early on the weekends.

So when you put platforms that hate you being on them, enemies that love you being on them, slow manual camera control and a drunk unresponsive character into your recipe, you get a bad time. A really, really bad time.

I have spent more hours in this game than what I would like to admit to the internet in an attempt to get through the game, but, I, just, couldn’t. This game is way more difficult than it has the right to be and it’s only difficult, because the brilliant bob the game is broken. I could ramble away at the poor level design and inconsistent platforms and such things for quite a while, but I think the above is sufficient to portray my experience with the game.

graphics

Rightio, wooosa, new category, new outlook.
The graphics for the most part isn’t that bad, you have what I presume to be Unity store assets, put together in a way that makes sense and stylistically matches the atmosphere the game is trying to create.

I personally have no issue with any pre-bought assets as long as they make sense together and aren’t plonked around willy nilly. Not everyone can has 3D model skillz. So I really get that. Asset flipping is a term that I recently came across, recently in the sense of the last year or so and my views on what an asset flip is, is an entirely different article all together. The game doesn’t look bad, it isn’t a game that is going to make your jaws drop, but it is more than enough to not chase away the immediate onlooker of this game.

There are some areas that looks better than others, so consistency is questionable and the character model kind of disfigures at the head a bit when moving around. This is definite nitpicking though.I also don’t think it’s the sheer graphical fidelity that makes the frame rate drop faster than a brick in the Hadron Collider, I think it’s the way the assets are used and loaded behind the scenes.

There is clipping though and I really despise clipping.

clipping goo 1

Overall, not too shabby looking.

sound

Oh boy, from the first moment you launch the game your ears are barraged with blaring, teeth grinding music and it doesn’t only stop in the intro sequence.
In the game you have a handful of background tunes that doesn’t fit with the gameplay and in any situation where you restart the level you are on abruptly restarts the music.

It makes for a choppy stop-and-start experience where the SFX of the game is so monotonous that your brain starts to filter out the jumping sound of your character. Running around, punching boxes or picking up the Boblars in the game, isn’t satisfying, it’s boring. There isn’t once an “Aw yeah! I got that coin, or punched the snot out of that box” feeling, ever.

So as far as sound goes, it’s sound, is it good sound, no, but it’s something, I guess.

fun factor/ replay-ability

In it’s current state this is by no means fun. It is very far from fun, in fact it’s light-years away from fun. I only tried to play past the third level as I wanted to write about the game.

If I didn’t have external motivation I would have not even bothered past the first thirty minutes and if I paid for the game and didn’t receive it for free, then I would’ve also straight up refunded it.
The game has unlockables in the form of skins for Bob.

unlockables

Is it enough to want to make you play the game again with a different skin? no. Will you want to go back and finish levels to get the Boblars you need to unlock the skins? no. At this stage of my experience I couldn’t care less for these coins floating around with no rhyme or reason. I just want to make the next platform.
TL;DR – Fun? no, replayable? no.

Outro

Honestly, it breaks my heart. It really does.
This has all the moving parts to be an average to good enjoyable platforming game, but bad practice and blatant mechanical issues makes this game borderline unplayable. If the developers would read anything I want them to read the following statement.

I believe you have a possible average to good game here devs, not how it is now, but you can still save this game. It has been trashed in videos, ridiculed by many, I mean even I ripped into it with this article, BUT there is hope for this title. Fix the double jumping mechanic, you can’t tell me as a developer that cares about their product that you did not try to play it, you know. You know more than anyone that double jump is glitchy, just fix it. Secondly fix the camera, if you can’t make the camera follow behind the character then at the very least bind it to the mouse and tilt the camera. If you fix these two issues alone the game would be so, so much better to play.

As it stands, stay away from this as far as you possibly can. It is a lackluster, lazy product. It is not worth the money they are charging and is currently in a state that is only acceptable in an early access versions of games.

How did it get on steam? It’s easy to answer, the game showed some promise at some stage, but the developers let all the followers down, by not giving one single *bleep*.

You should’ve played with a controller NinaClicks, why didn’t you? Truth is I did for 5 minutes. you can move your character with the controller, but you can’t turn the camera, or navigate the menu screens. You still have to use the “Q” and “E” keys to move the camera around and all the tool-tips like how to pick up boxes only show the keyboard buttons to use. It’s not controller friendly.

So what does the target tree tell me after my run in with this game? 0.4 Shurikens in the tree. One blade shard for sound, I mean at least there is sound and 3shards for the graphics. The gameplay, fun factor and my own impression of the title is a complete miss-the-target experience.

So with all this said, don’t buy it, wait until they fix it, if they are going to fix it at all.
Hope you enjoyed the article and see you next time for another game in the ninja sights.

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