!NOTE! This is an older article published pre-revamp which does not follow the new format.
[ review ]
| PC (Steam) Review April 1st 2016 |
NOTE: develpers SIEIDI are still highly involved in updating the game at the time of writing, so gameplay and presentation elements may change after this review.
Poor Bob is allergic to everything, but one day he decides to step outside of his cozy cocoon and travel the World, collecting inoculation materials by blasting anything that moves with his Inhagun 2000. He won't be able to develop immunity during the course of the game however, so every critter you see will be a threat to Bob's nonexistent immune system. Unfortunately, this backstory is only available by reading the product description. I think a short introductory scene with some artwork and text would go a long way. Instead, you are abruptly dumped into Bob's living room without any intro or explanation of Bob's predicament.
The game is presented in a cartoony style with cute, chunky characters and bright backgrounds, kind of like a more colorful version of SIEIDI's first release on Steam: Gunnheim. A good deal of attention has clearly been given to the characters and animations, which are quite detailed. Some levels feature extra little pieces of detail like creatures hiding in the backgrounds and the lighthouse's rotating rays casting a warm light over the level.
Hypersensitive Bob is easy to pick up and instantly have some fun with. Bob travels between one tiny arena-like level after another in his rocket. The journey is complete when you beat them all (approximately 20) and there are no save points in between. (A cuter than thou roguelike you might say!) Mid-level, you will be given the opportunity to purchase 1 of 3 random bonuses, which boost or change your abilities for the duration of the journey. Bonuses range from common types, to rare to epic to legendary. They really help to add variety and make each adventure just that little bit different.
Enemies are all based around some type of animal or creature e.g bees, skunks, turkeys and snails. Each one has it's own attack pattern that you'll need to learn. Touching an enemy or getting hit by a projectile docks you 1 life. Lose them all and you're back to the start of the whole adventure, unless you've collected enough points (from defeated enemies, treasure chests or rare "vaccine machines" that spew out points and ability-boosting items) to respawn at the start of the level.
I was surprised to be considerably challenged by the game, but I found that pacing yourself and not trying to get too many shots in before retreating was key. Getting lucky with +HP or +damage bonuses will increase your chances of progressing further into Bob's journey. There are some interesting perks to be attained during those rocket trips between planets, some of which will even soup up your trusty Inhagun 2000 and alter the way it fires.
Movement is in 4 straight directions and so is shooting. You can fire in one direction while moving in another, but this will slow you down as Bob has to do a little turn before each shot. Keyboard users can press spacebar to fire in the direction they are facing, but that's not as useful. If you change directions adjacently while firing, diagonal shots can be achieved, but I found this awkward to pull off, not least because of the movement penalty Bob suffers every time he pulls the trigger. You have to line your shots up and judge the distance too.
The controls may be a sticking point for some people. Movement is sort of slow (Bob waddles rather than walks) and shooting leaves you stationary for a moment that really leaves you open to getting hit (there is a random bonus that reduces this movement penalty though), so timing your shots and knowing how many times to fire before retreating is crucial. Based on feedback received so far, smoothing out the controls seems to be the #1 priority the developers are working on right now.
You'll be plopped back into Bob's living room at the end of each journey (successful or not!). This small area, comfortable area that Bob relaxes in between missions is very cozy and not without it's own share of intrigue. By the fireplace you'll notice some seats, 2 of which are occupied by unlockable characters Bill (a healthier, hillbilly version of Bob) and Spoopy (a ghost/animated curtain with 3 holes in it). A strange box in the corner that looks to me like some kind of dog shelter occasionally jumps around, hinting an another unlockable character perhaps?
Each lovable character is the product of excellent, somewhat Disney-esque design. The opportunity to unlock accessories to customize them with only adds to the appeal and is certainly an incentive to play the game again. Some pieces of artwork and backstory thrown in here and there would really help to solidify the characters as personalities and enhance their appeal further, but at the moment their history and reasons for begin remain rather barebones. Having said all of that, cute graphics + loveable characters + pick-up-and-play fun + a mellow (if limited) soundtrack + a low asking price makes Hypersensitive Bob an enjoyable little romp suitable for all ages.
GIVEAWAY [ x5 copies ]