Bob Came in Pieces Review

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Bob Came in Pieces Publisher: Ludosity Interactive
Developer: Ludosity Interactive

Platform: PC
Reviewed on PC

Windows System Requirements: 2.4 GHz Processor, 1 GB RAM, DirectX 9.0c compatible video card with 128MB VRAM, 500 MB HD space, Windows XP or more recent operating system

Bob is a call center operator who answers phones somewhere "just across the galaxy." One day, on the way to work, the perfectly safe, recommended intergalactic route was struck by a meteor storm. Bob's ship lost its hyperdrive and crashed on a nearby planet for repairs. Since the planet proved to have no space dock, Bob is stuck searching for the lost fragments of his ship so that he can return home... and go back to answering support calls.

Kyle Ackerman

Bob Came in Pieces is a simple but clever platformer in which the player must solve physics-based puzzles to progress – and ultimately, save Bob. The hook for Bob Came in Pieces is that the player must build and rebuild Bob's ship to cope with the many different puzzles posed by the game's environments. The ship is a simple spherical pod with eight junctions. Pipes, engines and tractor beams can be attached to Bob's ship in various configurations, giving Bob the ability to send thrust in different directions, or just construct a long boom to poke obstacles.

The game looks and plays like the classic Lunar Lander trapped in a bucolic (sometimes icey) platformer, but the crux of play involves flying into complex, physics-based Rube Goldberg devices. To solve the puzzle and move on, players then must rebuild the ship to meet the specific needs of that puzzle, then perform some delicate maneuvering to set things in motion. For example, a wall might be knocked out of the way by building a large horizontal probe that pokes a rock through a small gap in order to roll a ball down a ramp to knock over the wall. Then, inevitably, players will have to reconfigure Bob's ship for another puzzle, or just to fly more easily.

The puzzles are intriguing and engaging, and each level challenges players to complete the level within a certain time frame, offering medals in return for success. To meet these challenges, Bob must collect plenty of equipment for his ship and then return to these earlier puzzles, offering a measure of replayability. Bob Came in Pieces isn't tremendously long, but offers a splendid diversion for merely $10. Given the price, the only thing that keeps me from wholeheartedly recommending Bob Came in Pieces is that the complexity of the physics-based puzzles means that Bob's ship can frequently be caught in untenable situations. While the game offers the ability to return to the last checkpoint, having to restart a complex puzzle due to a physics glitch is mildly irritating.

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This page contains a single entry by Editor published on April 17, 2010 5:43 PM.

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