ibb & obb (PC) (2014)

ibb looks at the little yellow ball

Overview: ibb & obb is a cooperative platformer where you and a friend* play as ibb (green) and obb (pink) through a world where gravity and momentum play an important role.

*The game is meant to be played as a co-op, but it's technically possible to play with just one person.

Today my friend Josh and I played ibb & obb for about two hours.

Hardware Setup: While my laptop detected both my Logitech F310 and Logitech Dual Action, the game only detected the F310. This, however, was unsurprising, because many games do not recognize my Dual Action controller. As a substitute, I grabbed a spare keyboard and played with that (so that we can both be sitting away from the screen).

Hooray! We finished a level!

Game Setup: Choosing which player uses which control scheme is done after choosing the mode of play (local/online). On this screen, I chose to control ibb, the green character, with my connected keyboard using WASD. The other available option is to use the arrow keys. Consequently, Josh controlled obb, the pink character, with the Logitech F310.

Fundamentally, the game is a cooperative puzzle platformer where one of the basic gameplay elements is the conservation of momentum as a player passes from the upright world and the upside down world or vice versa.

My friend figured this one out (the smart way): the white blobs are safe to touch and the black (spiky) blobs are not. Furthermore, upon triggering a white blob, the other player should make an effort to catch the converted black blob before it lands and begins to scatter.

Huh. How are we going to get past these guys?

- Since momentum is conserved, if you jump up from a platform, peak at 3 units above a gravity portal and pass through the portal, then you will peak at 3 units below the gravity portal. You can continue falling into the portal and popping out the other side indefinitely - oscillating with an amplitude of 3 units. Thus, if your goal is to get to a platform 4 units high, you better figure out a way to peak at 4 or more units high on the other side.
- The game automatically saves at the end of each level and exiting to Limbo will allow players to jump to any level that has already been completed or the last level that has yet to be completed. At the level select screen, have both players jump onto the level's platform to select the game.
- I would recommend replaying a level only after seeing the entire level (though my friend and I had yet to repeat any levels). There's no point mastering one particular part of a level only to encounter another part of it and die.

We did it!

An important element of the game is timing, and since there are two players working cooperatively, this element is more critical in ibb & obb than it is in a single-player puzzle platformer.

With that being said, there becomes a point where timing becomes more intuitive (and don't require planning). At that point, only intricate puzzles will require planning in addition to guesswork.

My friend and I found a secret puzzle and it took us a while to figure out how to use what was available to us to collect the secret gem. However, we eventually figured it out and it was really satisfying.

Having fun with gravity and momentum.

Interestingly, we must have been thinking so hard, that upon returning to the standard level, we couldn't figure out out a solution which was actually simple and obvious.

While some of the puzzle solving requires backtracking and slightly breaks the rhythm of the game, the game is fun and exciting.

When playing side by side, players can point out what needs to be done with their fingers. When playing online, players can point out what needs to be done with their mice.

[20181211 Edit]

Today I started the first level of the game by myself with the intention of getting some extra screenshots. The next thing I knew, I had gotten to the end of it and unlocked a Steam Achievement: Mint Condition - Finish a level without dying.

As it happens, I also played the second level by myself and was able to make it through. The experience, however, is far from ideal and this game is most definitely best played with a friend.

This is one of my favorite co-op games and I've played the game with several of my friends. In particular, I first played the game with my friend Josh on 20150328, I later played it with my friend Damien, I later played it with my sister, and today I played it with my friend Michael.

obb turns his head up as his eyes follow the dangerous black ball

As of 20151031:
Steam Game Time: 4.1 hours (total game time)

As of 20181211:
Steam Game Time: 5.0 hours (total game time)

ibb & obb (PC) (2014)*
*ibb & obb (PS3) (2013)

Relevant Links:
ibb & obb Website
ibb and obb (Wikipedia.org)
ibb & obb (Steam Store Page)
Ibb & Obb (PC) (MetaCritic.com)
Ibb & Obb (PS3) (MetaCritic.com)

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