You get to play as many things
when you play adventure games, some more interesting than others. Being
Bulb Boy is certainly more of the former. Having a glass detachable
head, with a body that faithfully scuttles along behind as you roll on,
makes for some interesting conundrum solves. That is before mentioning
being swallowed, dragged down the toilet, or carried around by your
flying doglike pet.
A head is a very useful thing,
especially one that unscrews. Screw it onto a knights body and voila –
instant warrior. One that lights up is better again – fling it into a
dark space and see exactly what you are doing. Immunity to electrocution
can be helpful as well, especially when looking to rid yourself of a
pack of ravenous wormlike critters or repair some frayed wiring.
Bulb Boy lives in a bulb-house,
with an elderly bulbish father type figure and said flying dog thing. He
wakes one night to find the house overrun with hideous monstrous things,
and it’s up to him to put things straight. This involves finding a few
things, and swinging, dodging, rolling, avoiding and blowing things up
(mechanically and by other means).
You can die in interesting ways,
and you then get to try again. The game starts more gently than it ends.
My first encounter simply resulted in me being grabbed by the head and
flung back across the room. The last involved being swallowed over and
over by a fire belching beast and navigating the increasingly difficult
innards that tried to crush/smash/chew/dissolve/me.
I am not sure what that last
beast was called, but along the way I got Steam achievements for
defeating the headless chicken, the snotty bunny and the drunken
earthworm. There were others without achievements, including a somewhat
grotty poop monster. I missed out on the achievement “Nice to poo you”
and can only imagine what that might have involved.
I also got to play some of Bulb
Boys more pleasant memories, of days before the creatures came. Playing
in a park and fishing in a river, with the doggy and daddy things. You
get to play each of them on occasion as well, and need to co-operate
with the dog more than once in order to survive in monster land.
I have to confess I had a lot of
The quirky and interestingly
coloured look was enough to get me interested, then the sing song
gibberish and picture bubbles pulled me further in. The rather
disgusting monsters sealed the deal.
Bulb Boy himself was also rather
endearing, especially the first time he unscrewed his head. When he
inhabited a spider and scuttled around upside down, dodging the spitting
giant head in the middle of the web in order to save his dog, he had me
While there are inventory items
and conundrums to solve (mainly how to vanquish the next beast), it
should be clear by now this is not a pure adventure. The beasts are like
the “bosses” in action style games, getting more and more hideous and
difficult to defeat. It’s not like an action game though, where you
wield a big stick/sword/gun and have it. Instead, you might manipulate
the environment, or get involved in a series of little platform type
actions involving timing, dodging and running/swimming/rolling/flying
away. I died a lot, but never stopped having a good time doing so.
Bulb Boy is all point and click,
and the mouse button will get a good work out. The game autosaves
periodically, and is generous in doing so. This is particularly evident
during some of the more complicated sequences – getting through one part
will usually result in a save so the next death won’t result in you
starting all over again. Moving the mouse to the top of the screen will
result in a ribbon containing the inventory, a hint button and the menu.
Using the hint button will result in a little dream bubble with an image
suggesting what to do next. They were rather nifty and helpful more than
Vanquishing the last beast has
gotten me to what I think is the end. Order is restored, dinner is on
the table, and everyone seems contented. However I can access a scrap
book, where each image takes me back to a scene I have already played.
Finishing that scene will return me to the dining room and I can choose
to do another. I have done a couple, mainly to make sure I wasn’t
missing anything, and unlocked a few more achievements (not the poo
one). I don’t know if I unlock them all whether something else will
happen, but will let you know if I do so.
Bulb Boy was an engaging and
grotty hoot. It took me about two and a half hours over the course of a
single day. The fact that I kept coming back to it says something about
how I was feeling about it.
Grade: B plus
I played on:
OS: Windows 7
Processor: Intel i7-3820 4GHz
RAM: 12GB Ripjaw DDR3 2133 Mhz
Video card: AMD Radeon
HD 7800 2048MB
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