Only tailor-made for two.
Ibb & Obb really puts the emphasis on co-operation. The clean art style and smart gameplay require players to work together in order to solve puzzle-platforming challenges. But while the presentation of the game compliments the gameplay loop, Ibb & Obb’s hook falls short in the long run.
The titular playable characters, the green Ibb and the pink Obb, can’t do much more than walk and jump. Instead they rely on the level design of their world to get around. The world in this game is divided into two halves, with each half having its own gravity. This means that in the top half, gravity functions as normal, while in the bottom half the gravity is flipped. Meaning that if you drop down below the dividing line, you can walk on the ceiling and have to solve puzzles upside down.
Characters can cross over to the other half by passing through white gates that separate the two worlds. By switching between the two halves, you and another player solve puzzles, defeat enemies, and collect coins in order to finish the game.
The game does make clever use of these mechanics, especially once the gravity starts playing a role alongside the platforming between the two halves. Jumping from a high platform through a gate to the other part of the world enables you to reach a higher ledge, due to the momentum gained via that jump. When this is combined with having two players on screen and needing to give each other boosts by jumping on top of one another, the smart game design takes center stage. Because this game relies entirely on co-op gameplay, you really need to communicate with your partner. In many ways, this reminded me of Snipperclips, where figuring out how to solve a particular puzzle with a friend is key to the enjoyment of the gameplay. Unfortunately, where as Snipperclips has a variety of challenges for a solo player, Ibb & Obb is unplayable in single player mode. The game does allow for online co-op play, but I honestly would not recommend that without a stable voice-chat because you will get frustrated having to signal movements to the other player using the right stick to draw basic lines.
There are some fun puzzles in here that require some good thinking. The game introduces trampolines that can only be activated by jumping on them, but they only give a bounce to the other side of the dividing line. This means that jumps need to be coordinated in order to reach a maximum height and speed in order to get both players across ledges.
While these platforming puzzles are satisfying, the game did become stale after longer sessions. The art style is very pleasing to look at but does become monotonous after a while. Ibb and Obb just doesn’t bring enough variety to the table, and it also feels rather slow. Enemies are not all created equal, either. Some can be easily taken care of by one of the players, but if an enemy hits you or your partner, you have to completely replay the level. This means that the game can shift from clever thinking to simply hoping that you can jump past certain enemies. The soundscape provides some nice tunes to listen to while progressing through the levels, but you will probably not hear too much of it. Since most of the time you’ll be talking or shouting to your friends to get on top of a specific ledge in order to solve the puzzles. There are timed leaderboards, but honestly, I didn’t feel engaged enough to replay levels or challenges.
If you are looking for a fun co-op game, Ibb & Obb is a decent pick-me-up to spend some hours with a friend. But I highly recommend that you play the game in short bursts. Although clever, the game can feel rather monotonous after a while. It didn’t fully hook me (and my friends) to keep playing for longer sessions. The slow pace and lack of fun new mechanics over time, make Ibb & Obb hard for me to return to.