Sunday, 3 November 2019

Steam / GOG Downloads #6

Bibou (2016)
By: André Bertaglia Genre: Platform Players: 1 Difficulty: Medium-Hard
Featured Version: PC
Also Available For: Nothing

Whether you love Steam or hate it for some reason, no one can deny that it offers an incredible variety of games, including many obscure retro-flavoured titles that are very often cheap. One such title that caught my eye some time ago was Bibou by Portuguese coder André Bertaglia, and it was available for less than the price of a Cadbury's Creme Egg! You can probably see why it caught my eye too - those bright, chunky, pixelly graphics which are either awesome or ghastly depending on your outlook. I thought they looked pretty awesome so I decided to forego my daily chocolate egg and took a chance on this strange looking title instead.

It's a basic platformer set over ten scrolling stages with the player assuming the role of the titular blue creature. The object of each stage, as explained by Bibou's grandfather at the start of the game, is to collect as many 'yellow stones' as possible. What they're used for or why they're important isn't mentioned but they're dotted around each stage in significant number. There are of course numerous evil beasts known as Cocu's attempting to stop you, and the stages themselves are not wholly welcoming either, with death coming swiftly to our cute blue hero if a Cocu, one of their bullets, or one of the many spikes come into contact with him.

The ten stages are set over five themed areas - Hill, Cemetery, Pillar, Labyrinth City, Forest - and you can choose any of them you want, or even a strange bonus game if you prefer, but that is about it. Even platformers as basic as this one can be great fun, of course, but sadly Bibou is not. This isn't down to those ultra-pixelly graphics - they range from appealing (grassy 'Hill' area) to garish (see 'Forest' area), but they don't impede the gameplay, even if you don't like them. The audio is quite pleasant too - effects are minimal but the tunes are nice enough. No, unfortunately, Bibou's issues are much more ingrained than that.

To put it simply, the stage design is poor and the gameplay is unfair and frustrating. For example, Bibou can shoot weird little lightning things, but enemies can still fire at him even after they've been killed. There are also many spikes around and these can even kill Bibou from side-on. There are also blind jumps and it's not always clear what you can and can't stand on. Add to all this the fact that stages totally reset every time you lose a life and you'll soon be gnashing your teeth in fury. Even the translation of the texty bits is wincingly bad. I wanted to like Bibou, I really did, but you'll need to have a lot of patience to get anything out of this amateurish release.

RKS Score: 3/10

Gameplay Video: here's a video of the game being played by one of the talented fellows at Fifteen Minutes Gameplay (check out their great channel here).


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