Genre: Horror Point and Click Adventure
Release date: 29th October 2015
If someone ask me how would you describe Bulb Boy in one sentence, my answer would be: “All good/beautiful things comes to an end”. Then you ask me why? Well, when someone says that sentence, by that he means that all good or beautiful things are short and they will end sooner or later, but they mostly last very short. Same thing is with Bulb Boy. Such an amazing and beautiful game, but yet, such a short game.
At the same time I am very happy, satisfied and very sad, because I’ve never thought I would be playing game like this. Don’t think that this game is perfect, but it’s a real example of what can do one indie developer with (probably) small budget. That’s priceless, I would say. The story of the game isn’t anything special (standard story), but the way how is the game telling you and how the game is leading you through the story and the game itself is just superb and beautiful. Maybe we can say in the end that story is very special, but only, because of the way how it’s been told.
You are the Bulb Boy and you are living in a house with your grandfather in a peaceful life. Suddenly, in the middle of the night, black sphere (the shadows) enter your house and takeaway your grandfather. At the same time you wake up from the nightmare and you hear how your grandfather is screaming, shouting. This is where your game begins. As you can see, the game’s story is pretty much standard as in other hundred or thousand games. Bulb Boy is a horror point and click adventure game. To be straight and honest with you guys I don’t fancy this genre and I rarely play adventure games, but this game got my interest first of all, because of the amazing graphics, well the art style to be more accurate. Later I saw some gameplay video and I said to myself: “I need to try this game, no matter that I don’t like this type of games so much,” and I am glad that I tried it and played it. One interesting fact about adventure games is that Anna’s Quest was my first review for this website since the reactivation of the PCGN.
The most important element in adventure games is the story and on the second place are puzzles and riddles. There are no riddles in this game, but puzzles, yeah. Problems with them are that there aren’t many of them and most of them are very easy, generally speaking, they are easy to solve. I’ve managed to finish the game in 112 minutes, so under the two hours. In two hours you can’t really solve so many puzzles, maybe if they made it harder, maybe I would played this game a little bit more. Ability of the Bulb Boy made solving puzzles certainly easier and I must compare abilities of the Bulb Boy with Anna from Anna’s Quest. Anna had telekinesis powers and that really changed the gameplay and pace of the game, Bulb Boy doesn’t have telekinesis, but he has ability to unscrew his head and throw it or jump on other objects, well mainly on other bodies: knight armor, fish or just move by rolling your head. Without this ability, the Bulb Boy would be just a normal character/hero in the game, even though he is very funny, adorable, nice, without that ability he would be boring. Other two abilities if we can call it like that is: he is his own source of light and he can survive any electrical shocks. I will remember this game and especially Bulb Boy as a character till end of my life. His a very special character and one of those characters that gets remembered easily by people, well at least to me. He’s just a little kid and you will see him scared, not able to do something, but because he is very adorable and very brave, he will do anything. He’s just amazing. Even though there aren’t a lot of puzzles, because of the shortness and because they are very easy, they are still very good and fun to do. Developers were a little bit creative. One time you will need to unscrew your head, throw the head on the chandeliers and jump from one to another, untill you get to the knight armor with spear. I don’t want to spoil anymore about puzzles, you’ll need to buy the game and find out alone.
There is one feature of the game I want to talk a little bit and those are playable flashbacks. Not every game has flashbacks and definitely not every game has playable flashbacks. As you progress through the game, you will play a little bit as a Bulb Boy who is trying to save his grandfather and the house and then there are flashbacks, they are very happy flashbacks, because you will see how Bulb Boy, his grandfather and their “dog” had fun and visited many places that are not ruined by shadows and monsters in the past of course. Most of the game uses flashbacks to tell you a part of the story and they are mostly done in the cut scene style. In Bulb Boy you will need to play through them and solve the puzzles. They are story related, but not too much or as you maybe thought they are. One thing that is significant in adventure games are dialogs and your choice of answers, if the game has one. Bulb Boy doesn’t have dialogs, at least not in the standard way. Since they are bulbs, they don’t speak our language, when they speak you can’t understand them, but each time when they are saying something, a little cloud comes above their head and game graphically shows you what they think or trying to say. You see, sometimes it’s good to tell something through graphics rather than through the text. The game’s atmosphere is very dark, but then again it’s very positive and because of the Bulb Boy it’s very “light” atmosphere. Not everything is so “black” in the life. There is always a light on the end of the tunnel, right?
I mentioned all important things about this game , but there a few more things I want to talk about. Puzzles are always connected with bosses in the adventure games or you can say that in opposite, it really doesn’t matter. I already mentioned how the graphics and the art style is amazing, also the look of the bosses and monsters are amazing, the whole game looks amazing and when you add superb music that really follows the gameplay and sound effects are done remarkable. Boss fights are easy, same as puzzles, but those fights maybe takes a little bit more time to finish them. One more thing I want to mention is how much the game is “live”. Sometimes you will have an option to look closer the object, so for example you click the drawer and when Bulb Boy comes to the drawer, you will see whats inside of the drawer and you can pick up anything from it, but at the same time the game doesn’t stop. If you are chased by a monster or some other creature, it’s not very clever to look inside of the drawer, because you will die. The game is alive all the time, the time doesn’t stop here.
This is maybe the best game I’ve ever played and reviewed, it has all of my recommendations and I don’t see a single reason why you wouldn’t buy this game and play it. Even if you don’t like adventure games. It’s not a perfect game, it has only two problems in my opinion: duration and story. It’s too short game and story is pretty much standard, but then again, they way how the story is told is amazing. The game costs €10 on Steam, maybe that’s a little bit too much, because of the duration of the game, but as I said, I don’t see a single reason why you wouldn’t buy this game. I’ve tried my best to get this game closer to you, dear readers. I think I’ve managed to do that and I remember when I have finished the game I was just speechless. Amazing, fantastic, beautiful, good and fun game. Of all games from 2015 that I reviewed, this one is probably the best, if not, then certainly in the top three. Buy the game, support the developer and I really hope that this game will have a sequel or some other game with same characters or only with Bulb Boy.