My ex girlfriend always used to tell me how much she loved B.O.B. I never actually played it when it came out, so I figured now that I’m going back through the ol’ catalog that I would give it a shot. It is pretty strange though, I don’t even know how she would have played with her copy of B.O.B., she didn’t even own a Genesis. She was always going on about how she’d rather be home with it then hanging out with me though, so it must be a great game.

In a time before dreadful pop rap dominated the radio, the only B.O.B. around was a space faring teenage bug robot who had to use his dad’s car to get to a hot date. After playing through this entire game, I have no earthly idea how anything—alien or otherwise—could spend any one on one time with him. It?

Nothing says hip teenage rebellion like the Rolling Stones. See, it’s funny because even in 1993, making fun of the Rolling Stones for being old was, well, old. And 19 years later you can make the same old joke because, somehow, they are still around. At this point they are just propped up on stage by CGI and chicken wire like the Gorillaz, except your mom likes them. Also, do you think they got a chunk of royalties for this? Do I have to send Mick Jagger a nickel for using the picture?

Nice to see Harold Camping still sticking to his guns in the space age.

Of course he isn’t, because now he is going to realize he has a dumb stoner-bot of a son who somehow found something to crash into despite space being like 95% empty.

B.O.B. as a character is annoying in a way that only the early 90s could possibly deign to provide. Now, that may sound odd considering he has, maybe, 50 lines of text in the entire game. But when it includes stuff like this…

And this…

And this…

And this…

And this…

…you can kind of see why it is so easy to find B.O.B. annoying. It was made even worse for me because after a certain point, B.O.B. decided that the only thing he was going to say every time I beat one of the game’s too many levels was “This Isn’t So Hard.” It is kind of hard, B.O.B., you douchebag robot. Not to mention having to see that little dance a thousand times, ugh. I have a hard time thinking of a main character that says so little and still ends up being so horrible.

Other than his upgradeable gun, B.O.B. can collect power ups that give him special abilities to get through some of the games puzzle-y bits. B.O.B. is actually a capable platformer with the occasional spurt of interesting gameplay, it just gets weighed down by its own volume. This is also one of the few games I’ve played where the time limit feels like an actual enemy and not simply an afterthought. None of the levels are actually linear, and most of them need intelligent use of your power ups in order to even finish them. This can be quite difficult when you notice the clock is ticking down.

Some powerups are more helpful than others, obviously.

Despite feeling like you play the same level twenty or thirty or a hundred times in a row, the game does look kind of nice. Although the music mirrors the general repetitive nature of the levels.

There are racing levels that can actually get really difficult, maybe not Battletoads difficult, but difficult enough that you will think “hey, remember how hard the racing levels in Battletoads were” like I just did. Battletoads.

It seems most of the design effort was put into the bosses, all of which look really neat and different. Sadly, it doesn’t apply to the actual tactics used to defeat the bosses, all of which boil down to the same strategy and aren’t really difficult at all. Like the rest of the game, they are cool but repetitive.

Even B.O.B. looks weirded out by this thing.

At this point, the first world felt so long because of the repetition that I assumed the game was over after the last boss. Much to my surprise there is a second world that is, this time, pyramid themed. There are also way more traps and instant death, just to make sure you aren’t enjoying yourself no matter how hard you try.

Usually when you find a power up, you are going to use it pretty soon afterward. Not really advanced problem solving, but it was the early 90s and people still wore MC Hammer pants, so we shouldn’t expect much.

Shit, it’s Lava Man. That means the Man Eating Cow can’t be far behind, somebody get The Tick!

Johann Schmidt gets “ahead” of himself. Hah. Hahhh.

I would say if there is anything “iconic” about this game, it is that people probably recognized this boss without actually realizing this was the game it was in. Blue Robotic Ren is deadly. Hopefully Blue Robotic Stimpy is not around the corner.

B.O.B., I think you wandered into my Metroid cart. Don’t break anything.

“Hey B.O.B., when you get to the part with the bubbles you have to ride in, remember that they are filled with an incredibly flammable gas.”

“Whatever dude, tubular or something. I’ll like totally remember that. NOT.”

“I can’t wait to dance on your fucking grave, B.O.B.”

I only added this picture because it looks like that bug is pooping, and we all know poop is always funny.

Suddenly: A wild Ralph Bakshi film appears.

True or false: This boss reminds you of the one zombie in the metal drum from Return of the Living Dead II. I think that was the one it was in. Electric Boogaloo right? Either way, looks like him.

“And the winner of the Alabama State Fair ‘Largest Swastika Made Entirely of Rectums’ is…”

Even B.O.B. seems tired of this by now.

In space, nobody can hear your subtle misogyny.

The moral of the story kids? Get high, murder entire species in order to steal their cars, and always cheat on your girlfriend.

The biggest problem with B.O.B.  is that it is repetitive. Incredibly repetitive. Repetitively repetitive. What is there isn’t a bad game, it is just a game that could have been a quarter as long and ended up a lot better. As it stands, this is a game that has some fun bits spread across a very large area, and gets dragged down drastically because of its unnecessary length and decisively unlikable main character. B.O.B. is one of the few times that I wish I was playing as the stereotypical silent protagonist of an old school RPG game instead.

He is the Jar Jar Binks of robots.

5 is mediocre. A 5 is something that isn’t necessarily a bad game, it just doesn’t do anything that is worth caring about and not worth the time of most people.

B.O.B. was developed by Gray Matter Interactive and Foley Hi-Tech Systems, although I’m not sure if that is Mick Foley or Dave Foley. It was published by Electronic Arts for the SNES and the Sega Genesis in 1993. You can get your hands on one through eBay for less than ten bucks, and from an old persons yard sale for 99 cents and a story about the war.

Do you have a game you’d like to see featured in this stupid idea creative and original work of game journalism art in the future? Have you played B.O.B. and want to drop your two cents in? If so, let me or RipTen know on Twitter, or in the comments on this very site!

Next Time on the Retrograde: Choplifter III