B.O.B. Retro Review: Robotic Curfew-Breaking Gone Right
What happens when a bug-eyed robot takes his father’s car to pick up his date, and has a run-in with an asteroid? Apparently, it creates “B.O.B.,” a platformer about a robotic teenager with an awesome gun just trying to get home. Electronic Arts were behind this little project before it went crazy with the sports games, along with Grey Matter Interactive (not the one who made the Call of Duty expansions, this game was released in 1993, with that company’s rise to power in 2002) releasing “B.O.B.” for both the Super Nintendo and the Sega Genesis.
The game is rather simple by design when it comes to your overall objective; make it to the end of the level in each world, and beat the boss. What makes “B.O.B.” unique is the sheer number of weapons and gadgets the player can receive and use to complete each area. Outside of the skull-sized fist you send at your enemies, B.O.B.’s gun requires ammo of different types to be picked up over the course of the game; some of which include the three-way shot, homing rings, and the powerful wave which shoots right through walls. Ammo for most of the weapons is relatively plentiful within levels, but you have to use the harder to find, and more useful gadgets (the Trampoline, the Helicopter attachment, and the ability to stop time) to obtain them. Using the weapons and items you have to evade and defeat aliens as well as other robots while bypassing lasers, pits, and the occasional spiked ceiling is both challenging and entertaining. What makes this game even more fun are the death animations and the responses. Right out of a Looney Tunes skit; B.O.B will respond with a quip about his death just like Wile E. Coyote. It almost makes losing the hard-to-find lives worth it.
The music of the game offers a bit of techno with that futuristic feel, which helps round out the package, making for an awesome look and feel - complete with a futuristic car crash situation with a gun. The levels are bright and easy to discern threats for the main character allowing the player to enjoy a well-made and fun platformer - which is saying something considering this was an early SNES game. Take the time to search for “B.O.B.”; it’s a good play, but just a bit too short.
“B.O.B.” was a Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis game released in 1993 by Electronic Arts. This review is based on the SNES version.