[Review] Ibb & Obb – Nintendo Switch

Written by Kevin Orme
  • Developer: Sparpweed, Codeglue
  • Publisher: Sparpweed
  • Release Date: 03/05/2020
  • Price: $14.99 / £13.49
  • Review Code provided by Sparpweed

The Heroes We Need Right Now

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it feels like just about everything in the world is a terrible, horrible, no-good suck-fest of a trash fire. Everywhere you look it feels like the walls are closing in and crazier things just keep flooding the news every waking second of our lives. Stuff is MESSED UP out there. So, what can we do to survive all of this insanity? WHO CAN WE CALL UPON FOR THESE HARD TIMES?! The answer is clear: Ibb and their friend Obb.

Ibb & Obb is a super simple game, that you can play with a friend in these trying times. I mean, look at these little friends. Like Kirby, they are “shaped like a friend”. You spend the entirety of this game and with these two friends solving puzzles in a world split by the ground you walk on. What I mean by this is that you have the ability to walk or fall through portals that put you on the opposite side of the floor with reversed gravity. Each area has a gimmick and a new trick to learn, so grab a friend online, especially with all of this quarantine insanity, and get solving!

A Peaceful Game in a Violent World

There’s no attack button in Ibb & Obb, but there sure are a bunch of enemies. So how do you go about fixing this issue? See, because when either Ibb or Obb touch an enemy, both characters die. So, to give you a way to get past these baddies the fine folks who made the game made a neat little thing where on the opposite side of the world each monster has a small orb that you can grab to defeat them. When those monsters are defeated they drop a crystal of sorts that you can collect. There’s no real achievement for getting all of them, but it certainly makes you feel good.

That’s something I really appreciate about this whole experience: there’s never any real fear or threat, just puzzles. There’s an air of subtle happiness that Ibb & Obb brings to the world. Especially in a time like now where it feels like society is collectively losing their minds it’s nice to have something that is soothing and kind to you.

Challenges Abound!

Hidden throughout this lovely little gem are eight secret stages. You find these by standing on what the game lovingly calls “secretmen”. The levels are called levelmen. After finding these sneaky little dudes, you are whisked off to a special stage with a surprisingly tough challenge to clear. Usually it involves a smaller amount of these crystals you’ve been collecting so far, but in such a way that it will take some time to puzzle out how to get it. It’s a nice little reward for exploring a bit in each stage.

However, this game has what I believe is one of the best secrets in the entirety of gaming – especially in days like today. There aren’t many buttons to use in this game. It’s literally just the one: jump. There’s a little easter egg if you decide to play with the L and R buttons. It makes you blink. Literally, the L button controls the left eye and the R button controls the right eye. It’s a delightful little subtlety that does nothing towards improving your chances at winning and it there just to make you smile. I love it.

In fact, there’s a lot of things that this game does to make you smile. At the end of every stage you are greeted by a bunch of friendly looking fellows who are having some sort of party to celebrate your victorious completion of the challenges you have faced. These dudes are here to make you smile, and the more crystals you collect in the stage the happier they are.

Looking Good, My friends

This game is so clean and wonderful. As you can see from these screens that I have here the art style is pretty minimalist, but bright and rich as well. It’s beautiful to just stare at sometimes. Nothing is too flashy or garish, but it is as much as they need exactly when they need it. As a graphic designer and artist myself, it’s always nice to look at.

Technically, the game is great. It’s nice to have it on the big screen in docked mode, but the game runs just as well in handheld mode as well. I will say that this game is suited perfectly for the Switch’s built in two player capabilities that the Joy-Cons bring. Simply put, there shouldn’t be anything in this entire game that gives you a bad experience. To quote a famous internet phrase, “It just works”.

It’s Good to See a Smiling Face

In short, Ibb & Obb is a lovely little jaunt into a happier world that makes you feel, even if only for a few hours, like everything is gonna be ok. I think we could use more of that in today’s crazy you-never-know-what-other-terrible-thing-is-coming, world. This game isn’t perfect, by any means, but I don’t think it needs to be. This is a delightful a lighthearted game that needs to be played with yourself and a friend that you like hanging around. There aren’t any stakes, so stress levels are low. The challenges are progressively tougher as you go, but nothing that makes you want to throw your controller out a window. This is just good simple fun.

And frankly, I think that’s all we need right now.

Pros

  • Charming and Delightful
  • GREAT to play with kids
  • So adorable I might just die
  • Perfectly Lighthearted

Cons

  • Some puzzles are tough for younger kiddos
  • Once you figure out how to make the little dudes blink, it’s hard to stop making them do that.

Verdict
If you need some levity in your miserable existence or if you just want something so utterly wholesome that your family will enjoy, this is your game. Ibb &Obb is built for good friendly fun that you will remember for a long time. Buy it already, you’ll love it.
4/5

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