A game about repairing a spaceship and nothing to do with ransom demands.
This fun little physics based puzzler comes to the PC from Ludosity Interactive. Bob, an alien call centre operative, is having a bad day. During his usual commute to work, he gets git by an asteroid and crashes his spaceship on a planet with no RAC cover. His chances of getting to work on time are pretty much lost, but if he is to get off this planet, the player will have to help him out.
The player begins by taking control of the remains of his ship, with only the left, right and up thrusters still operational. Explore the planet for the missing parts of his ship and make the necessary repairs.
To begin with, the action is very much like Pixel Junk Shooter, with the player controlling the upward thrust and then navigating left and right. Unlike the Pixel Junk game however, Bob Came In Pieces does not rely on this mechanic to make the game. No damage will be done to the ship by hitting the walls of tunnels and such, so precision is not of importance.
Instead, the gameplay revolves around manipulating objects with your ship, such as simply moving boxes or pushing levers. Strewn throughout the various levels, the player will come across the missing pieces of Bobs ship. Upon finding these pieces, it is possible to perform repairs or modifications at the liberally distributed workstations, which also act as restart points, should things go awry. These modifications can be as simple as adding a pipe to the top of the ship, allowing the player to manipulate something through a hole, or as complicated as creating an “arm”, with which to reach something that would otherwise be inaccessible. Other parts of the ship will also be found, with more obvious uses, such as boosters or tractor beams. These allow the further manipulation of the surroundings.
This is where the game generates all of its fun. The player has to solve the given puzzles by rebuilding his craft specifically for this purpose. It is not unusual to have to rebuild the ship numerous times during one level, before reaching teh exit portal. Another thing to bear in mind whilst creating wonderfully bizarre ship variations, is that the ship must still be able to fly. Each part has a weight and the ship must therefore be balanced. An unbalanced ship could spiral out of control, or just be damn hard to fly.
The puzzles themselves are fairly simple to understand and will not tax the brain too much. The emphasis is not so much knowing what to do, but more working out how to do it with the given pieces. Each level is basically designed, with the colourful, cartoon like graphics being used well, without getting too detailed and fussy. Players will not find it too hard to progress through the game and will likely spend more time playing with the ship design, than actually solving the puzzles.
Bob Came In Pieces has a fairly casual, laid back approach, with little by way of urgency applied to the game. the only times a player may find themselves getting a bit hot under the collar, is when the ship gets stuck in the scenery. In a similar way to playing through Little Big Planet, players may find themselves trapped as a result of moving the wrong thing at the wrond time, or maybe the ship design has not been thought through and has resulted in a rather less than spectacular getting jammed behind a rock (yes, it happened to me). Either way, there will come times when the player finds themselves unable to move. At this point the player can simply return to the last visited workplace, mess around with the ship design and lick their wounds, before trying again.
It can be said that Bob Came In Pieces is not the most exciting game ever made. In fact, it will hardly raise the pulse at all. But sometimes that is okay and enjoying a relaxing couple of levels may be just what the doctor ordered. The game is bright, colouful and finished to a high standard. If you fancy toning down the action and enjoying a game that is inoffensive, yet challenging enough to prevent the onset of sleep, then you could do much worse than Bob Came In Pieces.
This game was provided for review by Gamersgate