Even before a ball bearing is rolled in anger, you get the feeling that EDGEBobby2 (otherwise known as Bobby Bearing 2: Rerolled) is fighting an uphill battle.
For those of you who don’t know it, this is the first release from patent troll Tim Langdell’s studio since he had his preposterous legal claim to the word ‘Edge’ revoked by a UK high court judge.
Thanks to the rampant ill-feeling towards Langdell, there’s a good chance that many gamers won’t even consider downloading EDGEBobby2 out of principle. If the game were a true classic this would be a real tragedy, but in reality it’s merely passable rather than a solid-gold gem.
Close to the edge
The sequel to the 1986 8-bit title Bobby Bearing, EDGEBobby2 stars a small metal sphere on his quest to rescue his equally spherical brothers.
Bobby must roll his way across many isometric levels, overcoming various logic puzzles along the way. Many of these involve opening doors or removing blocks by tripping coloured panels, but as the game progresses the challenge becomes markedly sterner.
You’ll have to contend with entire networks of switches, gates, and other obstacles, many of which must be triggered in a set sequence to finally reach the exit.
Tilt to win
Given the round nature of the protagonist, one might expect EDGEBobby2 to make use of the iPhone’s accelerometer straight out of the box. However, the game’s default control system instead opts for a touchscreen interface where you slide your finger in the direction you’d like Bobby to move.
You can switch to tilt control in the options menu, but aggressive twists and turns are required in order to get Bobby to move, making this something of a missed opportunity.
Visually, EDGEBobby2 is painfully amateurish. The main character boasts a cheesy grin and looks like he was designed in the space of thirty seconds. The levels themselves are similarly sparse and uninspiring - the game’s barren aesthetic makes it look more like an unfinished tech demo than a fully-fledged commercial release.
Keep on rolling
Other elements of the presentation are similarly cack-handed. The music is dire and seems to kick in and cut out almost randomly.
The text used in the menus is rough and visually jarring, and navigating the various options is often a hit-and-miss affair – just tapping a button can take several attempts before your touch is registered.
EDGEBobby2 isn’t a terrible game. If you’re a fan of puzzle titles then there’s a good chance you’ll find a reasonable degree of enjoyment on some of the later stages.
What makes EDGEBobby2 so hard to warm to is the abysmal standard of the graphics and sound - if this had been released as an entirely free download then it would be easy to forgive such issues, but the full version of the game costs real money, and to charge for something this rough around the edges (pun absolutely intended) is a real cheek – even by Tim Langdell’s standards.