Very SHORT REVIEW: PC VERSION
An incredibly short game deserves a brief review with humourless tagline. We’ve no time for this. C’mon, chop chop. On with it.
Wait… Just how short is Bulb Boy? it took me 98 minutes to save the day and I’d admit, I was in no rush to get to the end. Now I’ve conquered the world and stood upon its flaming ground, beating my chest, I instantly knew in my heart(s) I’d never return. Not even for a trophy or achievement, such is the nature of the point and click adventure game. Especially one without any apparent hidden depths.
Wanna look at some pretty pictures and skip to the score? Yeah, go for it mate.
I had once attempted to give the developers of Bulb Boy money before any pointing or clicking. Oh Kickstarter, you fickle temptress. The pitch itself promised a more expansive game, but as it didn’t acquire enough magic pennies, it was not to be. Still, I am surprised there is a game at the end of the tunnel. No, I wasn’t going to use the term “light at the end of the tunnel”, just where the hell do you think you are?
Sidenote – I don’t go round Kickstarting any ol’ thing ya’ know, I’m quite picky. So why did I decide to fund the unheralded Bulb Boy? Well, it had an excellent demo. In fact, you can still give it a whirl here.
Did I mention it was short?
The first striking feature is it’s lovely looks. It’s well animated and beautifully distinctive. Taking control a lightbulb-headed chap, strangely, has it’s advantages and the game cleverly reminds us of this fact throughout. The interface is streamlined and clean. You won’t be talking, pushing, pulling or looking at any objects within this world.
This modern interface is lovely, but it loses something. I’ve always found some of the finest moments of any classic point and click adventure game is looking at things and getting a reaction. Trying the unexpected and being rewarded with a moment of silliness, or acknowledgement for your effort. Ties you into the world. Bulb Boy could have benefited from a little more world interaction.
It is indeed, a pretty short game.
Although Bulb Boy himself can die, the puzzles are very simple and if trouble comes-a-calling and progress is halted, a hint system’s makes things pretty bloody clear. I recommend you don’t use it, or you’ll finish it under an hour. There are no red herrings to sidetrack you and no puzzled head scratching. Just steady progress. You could argue that Bulb Boy is the perfect introduction for someone who hasn’t played an adventure game before. A nice touch is that inventory items are stored logically within Bulb Boy, or carried around on the odd occasion. I suspect this feat was possible as the inventory system’s seldom used.
Oh yes, short.
The sweet fantastical world perverts into the stuff of nightmares, wait, maybe it’s not the best introduction to a new player after all. Bulb Boy is “adventure game lite” with a series of point and click boss-battles with excellent monstrosities. Don’t get excited, it’s not overly epic or breathtaking, even with frequent insta-deaths. Thankfully death isn’t the great setback and is mostly a distraction. This tight focus reduces the experience to a single screen which harms the “adventuring” part of the game. With such an interesting world you’d want to dig a little deeper, reveal it’s secrets, actually go on an adventure rather than a tour.
In many respects the whole game comes across a pleasant minor distraction. Never quite demanding your full concentration. You could easily imagine flicking through such an adventure on your phone, squeezed between two armpits, on your train journey to Bibblecock. The horror.
Cut of any meaningful budget Bulb Boy is a prisoner to the essentials. A slick, swift adventure, similar to a 20 minutes child’s cartoon. Still… It was as expensive as a beer, so none of this is dire criticism. Just set your expectations accordingly and you’ll be fine. I’m sure Bulb Boy’s memorable moments will stick in your brain years later and who can put a price on that? Ok, developers can put a price on that. I don’t know if you’d remember it anyway, I’m not in your brain, am I? Or am I? NUMBER 6! Snap! PicklePeterPicklesPricks! Ok, this is creepy, let’s just go to the score.
In a word. Good.
Another word would be… Short!
Hey, six is a rubbish score?! Sigh… Read this score guide and admit your folly.