It once was that when we said to our significant other, “Honey, let’s just stay in and do something tonight,” we generally meant watch a cute movie and cuddle. Well, it’s the 21st century now, and sometimes neither of the two people in a couple feels like watching a chick flick. What’s a good alternative, though?
What’s a good co-op game to play with your partner?
Ibb and Obb definitely comes to mind.
It’s a cute, simple little indie game for two players that you could finish in a night or two. That way, you always have a segue into a second date.
So, what in specific makes Ibb and Obb so great?
#6 – The Critters
What are Ibb and Obb? Honestly, I have no freaking idea.
They look like hyper-cutsie goombas, and they kind of remind me a little of Pac-Man in ways. One’s red and the other’s green, which gives me a Mario and Luigi vibe … but it really doesn’t matter what they are. Ibb and Obb are adorable, and that’s what really matters. They can jump and run and stand on each other’s heads, and if you leave them to their own business, they settle down for a nice nap. That’s really all you need to know about them.
Besides those two bundles of cute, we have the other creatures in the game world of Ibb and Obb. There are adorable little enemies, too. They will kill you, oh yes. They will kill you. But it’ll be an adorable end, accompanied by a soft sound and an explosion of colour. In all honesty, I’m not even sure how they cause your death. I mean, they’re spikey, but it’s adorable. The spikes don’t even look that painful. Perhaps it’s something incredibly scientific, or simply that dark colours destroy our two little protagonists.
There are also cute little … things that run around the world. I’m not really sure how to refer to them. They’re little balls with eyes that you can kick around or accidentally step on. Their only use is to play around with. Perhaps a more mature woman would use them to explore the level, but I’m afraid I’d rather just giggle and play with them.
#5 – The Colours
Ibb and Obb is a very cool visual experience. The design is simple and enjoyable. Softer tones are mixed with more vibrant ones, and a gradient is used to create a very lovely world to gaze upon. You feel like you live in a world of sunset, when all the colours bleed into one, and then switch very rapidly. This is mixed with abstract background items and a very defined black line dividing normal and reverse gravity. It’s all been very well-considered and contemplated to give a soft, happy, peaceful vibe.
#4 – The Sounds
Serene images are wonderful, but they mean nothing if you accompany them with sounds of violence and explosions.
To further the happy feeling you get whenever you play Ibb and Obb, there’s a whole lot of soft sounds. The music is very ambient. Sometimes it is definitely a soundtrack, while there are times when it blends in so perfectly with the game that you don’t quite realise it’s in the background at all.
The music isn’t the only soothing sound Ibb and Obb features, either. Your basic video game repertoire of sounds – jumping, landing, destroying an enemy, coins landing, starting and ending levels -- are all tweaked in this game. Instead of your typical video game arsenal of loud, violent noises, like squishing, smashing, punching and kicking, you get to hear soft thumps, ambient hums, and noises that are downright adorable.
The combination of the borderline-ambient music and the soft, enjoyable sounds, along with the nice colour scheme make this game super-appealing, especially during some of the more brain-tickling puzzles.
#3 – The Puzzles
Alright, so Ibb and Obb are adorable. But what are they actually supposed to do? And what are you actually supposed to do?
Well, you’re floating around, defying gravity, and solving puzzles. Like Mario before it, you’re trying to get from point A to point B. Unlike Mario, there doesn’t seem to be any distinct reason to do this. Except teamwork, maybe, and making friends.
These puzzles are fairly difficult: they take a lot of planning, coordination, and exploding into colourful little specks. They’re all designed for multiplayer, and not just because you have to stand on your buddy’s head to finish them. These puzzles are made to take two people’s ideas and thought processes to be solved. Alternatively you could take twice as long figuring them out on your own, but each stage is fairly long, and it’s hard to guess where each autosave will be, so you’re ultimately safest finding a friend who likes puzzles.
Plus, half the world is kind of upside-down. Whenever you cross that distinct black line, everything you do is in reverse. You need one person’s mind to wrap around that an abundance of the time so the other can stay right-way up. This is really fun and inventive; it makes for about a million ways to solve a puzzle, so that you really have to put your thinking cap on to get through every one – despite the fact that everything looks super-simplistic on the surface.
#2 – The level design
All these beautiful shapes and sounds feed into just how well-made this game is.
Ibb and Obb’s level design is … shall we say, next-level? All the elements of the game come together to make a relaxing state to nicely juxtapose how frustrating puzzle games can be, and how hard it can be to die twelve times in a row because you just missed jumping over an enemy. The reverse gravity and the physics of the game are perfectly utilised so that the puzzles are tough to figure out, and tough to beat, but certainly not impossible. Everything is made so that difficult goals are dangled right in front of you, and that may really get your blood boiling, except you are play as a creature that’s way too cute for you to be angry, and as soon as you start thinking that, the game suddenly seems easier.
The #1 Ibb and Obb feature – The co-op
All these points lead back to the awesome co-op component Ibb and Obb features. It isn’t the type of game where you’ll get frustrated at each other for your mistakes, because it’s a peaceful game. And it’s not the type of game you can play with more than two players. It is meant to be played by two people, and enjoyed by two people. There’s no real opportunity to troll each other and there’s no harsh discipline for messing up, but you can only get through the levels with teamwork. You have to literally stand on each other’s shoulders, to help each other jump higher, and to kill enemies before they attack your friend.
And hey, if that first date didn’t work out and you DO have to finish Ibb and Obb alone, you just need the arrow keys and WASD, so you can technically go it alone.
Everything’s nicer and easier with two players, though. Although, you could probably say that about all components of life.