Electro Bobble – Review (PC)Indie games are becoming more and more widespread with the advent of distribution platforms like Steam and advances in technology. Some independent games like Chivalry or Guns of Icarus are very ambitious in scope. Others like Cut the Rope and Ultratron are more simple and silly. Diado Gaming's Electro Bobble falls into the latter, but is it enough fun to hold a gamer's attention?
The game opens to a simple and rather bland title screen, featuring a vaguely established theme of stormclouds and rain. Players take control of one of three electro bobbles: tiny little blobs that resemble the titular gel from the movie Flubber. The electro bobble (blue, purple, or black) has a gun on its head that it uses to shoot down enemies. The enemies fly in a specific pattern, shooting at the electro bobble, similar to the old arcade game Galaga. Unlike Galaga, however, the screen scrolls upward, chasing the electro bobble and demanding the player to climb higher or risk falling to their death. Enemies have a chance of dropping various upgrades, like a twin blaster or a jetpack, or items, such as additional health or shields. None of these gameplay elements are new, but Electro bobble combines them in a simple, yet enjoyable away. Not surprisingly, the game plays and feels very similar to a retro arcade game, which is a welcome throwback to someone like me who misses arcades deeply. However, Electro Bobble is not all happy-go-lucky fun and games. The game has a fairly simple learning curve. In my first playthrough, I made it to level four and achieved less than 5,000 points. By my third, I reached level 26 and earned over 26,000 points. The phrase "easy to learn; difficult to master" comes to mind. The constant assault of enemy fire combined with the indefatigable scrolling of the screen will keep you on your toes no matter how good you get. The electro bobble can jump like an Olympian, but as the platforms begin to change size and type, you will inevitably be focused more on surviving than on killing. Electro Bobble has a steady difficulty curve similar to Tetris in which the longer the game goes on, the more difficult it will become due to external factors. The platforms will become solid and impossible to jump through. Some will disappear if you stand on them for too long. Or occasionally run into purple dots that repel you and mess with your jump arc. And, of course, the enemies will become stronger the higher you climb. Still, the electro bobble is a slippery little bugger, and not always for the better. On more than one occasion I found myself sliding right off the edge of a platform that I believed I had landed safely on. In certain rare instances I would fall through the platforms entirely, though this appeared to be a small bug that was caused by a drop in frame rates. The Breakdown The most endearing quality of Electro Bobble is that it doesn't take itself seriously. It sets out to provide a simple, inexpensive form of entertainment that can keep a player addicted for short periods of time. It would be a great game to play in an airport or in between classes. You've got to know what you're getting yourself into: if you're looking for an expansive, multi-hour time sink, Electro Bobble is not for you. But if you've got a few minutes to kill, and you want something a bit more than your iPhone can offer, you might enjoy being swept away by Electro Bobble's retro gameplay and sounds. GamerCheese Score: 3.5/5