Antstream Game of the Week: B.O.B

The early 90s is full of great platformers, plenty of which you may or may not have heard of.

Sure, you’ve got the classics like Sonic, Mario, even Earthworm Jim, but it’s also full of obscure little hits like B.O.B.

Finding its way onto a variety of formats, this one hit some cult fame but never really cracked and got mass market appeal. But because I love the obscure, I’m going to shine a spotlight on you B.O.B. In this, the month of Spider-Man 2, Alan Wake 2, and Forza Motorsport. You’re welcome.

What is this and when did it release?

So B.O.B is a fun little run-and-gunner platformer with an alien that crashlands onto an asteroid after taking dad’s hover car out to go on a hot date. Instead of kisses, cuddles and a movie, B.O.B is fighting for life against all sorts of robots, traps and hazards.

It released on the Genesis and SNES in 1993 and was built by Gray Matter, who were probably better known for the Wayne’s World game at the time. Coincidentally, B.O.B uses the same engine.

It’s probably one of EA’s lesser known published games but it’s one that I had so much fun with and actually ended up being a Christmas game for me one year.

Why this game?

Unlike other platformers, B.O.B actually dared to be a bit different. It has this really nice tongue-in-cheek sense of humour, B.O.B can fire with different ammo types, but they can also use a helicopter and a trampoline.

It’s a real hidden gem, actually, and it’s aged pretty well. Which isn’t something you can say about every platformer of the times. Between its comical dialogue, fun death animations, quirky lead, and varied levels, you might actually catch yourself enjoying this one.

So tell me about it.

It’s a tough challenge, that’s for sure. And the controls can be a bit of an annoyance when climbing up ladders or leaping over obstacles. But across the game’s three worlds, there’s a lot to take in, digest and appreciate.

There’s some pretty epic bosses, racing levels, some impressive-looking city-scapes, and even a well-implemented map to navigate your trail.

But perhaps the funniest part is that when you complete a world and find a car to help you escape, it ends up crashing out on you, forcing you to find another on the next world. The game just feels so self-aware, even over 20 years on, and has a great sense of humour to accompany its challenging routes.

It’s a journey I enjoyed revisiting though, and it’s one I’d recommend taking a glance at if you’re looking for something new on Antstream. It also has the funkiest little soundtrack that is still a bit of a bop.

What should we spotlight next on Antstream Arcade? Anything you’d like to hear more about? Let us know…

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