Can you survive An Unholy Return: The 31 Games of Halloween?
B.O.B. Reviewed by Josh Despain on . Rating: 64%
B.O.B. B.O.B. B.O.B. B.O.B.
  • Review Score:

  • B-
Wow, what a simple title. And it turns out the basis for the game is not much more complex either.

Based on the intro cut scene, you are a robot borrowing dad's flying 1950s-style space-car. I'm not sure where you are going (or if you have a history of bringing it home late and all dinged up), but here is dad telling you to be home at 11:00 on the dot. "Blah, blah, blah ... not a scratch."

After basically ignoring dad's lecture, B.O.B. takes off, flying through space, listening to rock 'n roll music and dodging asteroids. That is until he smashes into a dead end and lands on some flat asteroid with a space station. Ignoring the fact that there are actually dead ends in space, and the fact that ... oh just go ahead and ignore the intro all together; it really doesn't matter.

B.O.B. (Super NES)

In 1993, Gray Matter gave us B.O.B. for the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis. The game was published by Electronic Arts ... that's right, Electronic Arts. It's the same company known for their annual sports games and Sims expansion packs. Anyway, B.O.B. is a very whimsical cartoonish robot with large buggy eyes and antennae. He's, dare I say ... kind of cute.

So what do the buttons do? The "A" button punches, "B" is used for jumping, "Y" fires the weapon, and "X" activates your remo, the remote control secondary item. The "L" and "R" shoulder buttons cycle through your different remo items, as well as the items you've picked up. You are limited in ammo and the number of remo items you have, but you can pick more up along the way, along with health restorers. The remo items are spread out and can sometimes be hard to find, so be prepared to do some searching.

B.O.B. is like most games of its era, a platformer with run and gun elements. The Super Nintendo was, at least in my opinion, a great system for delivering some of the best platform games ever made. Is B.O.B. one of those greats? Well, it's definitely good, but I don't think I would say it's one of the best.

B.O.B. (Super NES)

That's not to say that this game doesn't have its own charm. The music and sound effects are great, as are the graphics. The game requires you to navigate through a maze of platforms in search of an exit. Along the way are various enemies, pitfalls, and the gun/remo upgrades I mentioned earlier. The biggest challenge is that you are timed. That's right, you have to navigate through each stage and locate the exit point before time runs out. While the stages themselves are not unusually large, they are complex, and have dead ends. You will find yourself backtracking quite frequently, only to die because time ran out.

Up to this point I have mentioned that there are different gun and remo upgrades, but haven't discussed what they are. Starting with the guns, you have your basic single fire shot, a spread shot, flame thrower, a heat-seeking missile launcher, a charged energy shot and an additional spread shot. All are good against most of the enemies, but the guided missile is the most effective. The remo items include a helicopter hat that allows you to fly around to reach higher platforms or to fly over low-lying hazards like flames. There are also shields that temporarily protect B.O.B., an umbrella to assist in long drops, a spring board that gives super jumps, a timed charge that explodes and a light bulb that illuminates darkened areas later in the game. All of these remos are handy, but come in limited supply. You'll want to use them carefully, or you may find yourself stuck.

B.O.B. (Super NES)

Aside from the normal platforming bits, there are also some levels mixed in where you jump in a flying pod and have to navigate through a stage, all while dodging enemies and a variety of hazards. You really have to be quick and not crash into anything. Since this too is a timed run, you can't afford to take it slow.

B.O.B. is a fun, yet frustrating game. It is full of blind drops and frustrating fall damage, two things that can lead to untimely deaths. But even with the challenge, you may just find yourself enjoying this great little find from the Super Nintendo era.
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