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It WAS too hard for me!

  • Mateui
  • 07/07/2012 12:12 AM
Bob - Block Blob has a curious tag-line: "Classic Puzzle Game - Too hard for you." How hard can it possibly be? Surely it's an over-exaggeration, right? Right?!

It is wise to read the game's description before hitting the download button and firing up the game, as the game itself provides you with no instructions!

Your objective is to get through the puzzles as fast as possible. The game jumps right into the first level and your timer begins immediately. Some levels are much more complicated then others and no instructions are given. The game is very short, so once you learn the puzzles you can attempt to move through again, faster, for more points. Once a level is complete, you jump right into the next one, timer starts immediately.

Ok, sounds simple enough. Let's get to it!

The first level. Be prepared to spend a lot of time in this room.

The game drops you off as Bob (a dashingly handsome black blob) in a small room with some puzzle elements. The life of a blob is tough, let me tell you. It doesn't come with a manual you know, and you don't have any parents to show you the ropes so to speak. You were probably the result of mitosis anyway, although I am just hypothesizing here. I'm certainly no blob expert, but I'll be sure to share the knowledge I do have with you.

Lucky for us it seems that Bob is a resilient creature, which is good, because we'll be killing him a lot, trust me. It's all about trial and error at this point in our newly found human-blob relationship.

Let's get to exploring our newfound surroundings.

The red block will push you away, so you can't just waltz up to your blue blob buddy who is hanging out on his own, which is too bad, because he does look a little lonely and in need of our fine company.

There's a blue block near Bob. You can actually interact with it via the action key, and this causes the block to be pushed exactly 2 spaces forward.

There is a question mark that just screams out at us to interact with it, but unfortunately it is surrounded by green blocks which are impenetrable to our gooey body. Too bad!

Seeing some pretty orange blocks moving up and down on the right side of the level you can't help but be drawn to them. There is a certain beauty to their movement; it is like a dance that is beckoning us. Oh, did you just touch one of those orange blocks? Now look what you did! The level resets.

Ok. Lesson-learned: Avoid anything that is moving. We should have known, puzzle philosophy 101. Luckily this doesn't seem to affect Bob's lives (of which he has 3), so we're good for now.

Right before we joined the orange blocks we moved through a translucent pink block. There is a brightly colored pink tile on the right of the level. If we walk onto it the translucent pink blocks becomes solid and the other pink block that was solid becomes translucent. Aha, so this pink tile is a switch of sorts for the two pink blocks.

Those are the elements of level 1. At this point in time the objective seems to be to either reach the blue blob or somehow get to the question mark tile. Besides pressing the pink tile switch, the only thing we can manipulate in the room is that pushable block blue. Surely it is the answer to our problem.

But where do we need to push it? The obvious location is that mean red tile that pushes us away. Let's show it a taste of it's own medicine, why don't we?

Ok, did you start pushing the blue block towards that red tile? If you have I'm sure you've come to realize we have a problem. Since the block will always be pushed exactly two tiles we can't just push it directly to the our desired destination. Nope, that would be too easy, and our life is hard, remember?

We have to push the block away from the red tile and towards the pink block tiles that we can switch on and off. Then we have to push the block to the left from the vantage point of the top pink tile. Only then is it poised to be able to be pushed onto the red tile. Once that happens we can liberate our blob friend and then check out the question mark. It moves us onto the second level.

Randomly I am listening to Depeche Mode's Policy of Truth while writing this review and the lyrics eerily apply to what I am thinking at the moment.

"You'll see your problems multiplied
If you continually decide
To faithfully pursue
The policy of truth"

Aren't Dave Gahan and Martin Gore geniuses? Let's just say that the policy of truth is every level from this point onwards.

It's probably safe to say we shouldn't touch those spikes...

The second level looks simple enough. Four blue boxes and four red tiles we can push them onto. A problem emerges however. If we screw up and push a blue block somewhere where we can no longer push it there's no way to reset the level! No merciful dancing orange blocks to save us here. No, our only option is to send Bob to his untimely death by marching him onto one of the spikes, losing the game, and then restarting back at level 1.

This is something that you'll have to get used to. You will be killing Bob a lot, and replaying the first few levels over and over again.

The Game Over screen, which will quickly become your home away from home. Don't make fun of my score. It was my first time dying, ok?

Your score is affected by how fast you complete each level (there is a timer supposedly timing you, although it is not shown on the screen) and how many other blobs you rescue. The game over screen allows you to save your game but this is largely not necessary since the game is meant to be beaten in one sitting. However it is nice to have a save file proving your score.

In Closing:
Don't let the cutesy graphics and cheery 8-bit music distract you, at it's core this IS an exercise of patience & intelligence for the masochist in all of us. How many levels you reach and how long you play the game before you become totally overwhelmed by frustration varies on just how much of a masochist you truly are. Turns out I'm not much of one.

- Great arcade 8-bit music and sound effects
- Simplistic graphics
- Difficulty!

- Some minor bugs (blocks still moving after the level resets)
- Being forced to kill yourself and restart the game after making one silly mistake
- Difficulty!!!


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Thanks so much for the review!

And, I hate to say I told you so. :)
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