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Bob Came in Pieces

Score: 82%
ESRB: Not Rated
Publisher: Gamer's Gate
Developer: Ludosity Interactive
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Arcade/ Platformer (2.5D)/ Puzzle

Graphics & Sound:

New from Ludosity Interactive comes an innovative game with a true Indie feel in Bob Came in Pieces for the PC (also available for Mac). While very simple on the surface, the graphics and sound of this title did the game justice in that a simple premise isn't overdone with fancy visuals and no gameplay. In fact, Bob Came in Pieces is quite the opposite. For the most part, the game's graphics helped lead the way in an effort to solve the puzzles that help Bob launch forward in a progression to find his ship's pieces by giving hints and clues using the textures and color schemes. It's not to say that the game is overly visually pleasing, because there certainly is a stylized approach to the title, but what's there is very functional.

The background music in the game is equally pleasing... not too lacking while not pushing your ear drums to a breaking point as some simple games do. It doesn't feel like the audio was sacrificed in any way or thrown in at the last minute. So whether you choose to either leave the music on for this game or mute your speakers, either way makes the game enjoyable to play. The music and sound fx are not necessarily essential to success.


The whole premise of the story is that an alien named Bob has his spaceship torn apart on his way to work and he lands on the planet where the pieces are, forcing him to collect these pieces in order to get to work on time. Throughout the world are warps that take him from place to place (they are at the end of each level), but never seem to lead him home. So the search is on for that final warp which will lead to the main rocket which will propel Bob through space and back to work (now that's dedication!). Will he ever succeed and make it to work on time? Well, playing Bob Came in Pieces will be the only way to know if he ever gets off the planet as you guide Bob through 13 levels of puzzle-based mayhem.

In Bob Came in Pieces, you'll control his ship, which is basically a small spherical device that has interchangeable parts. At each checkpoint, you'll actually be able to add or remove the parts that you collect in nearly any combination that you can dream up (they just can't overlap). Straight pieces, angled pieces, corners, T-junctions, and more can all be placed onto the ship's connectors. You'll also be able to attach differently-powered rocket boosters, as well as attachments like the pull and push beams to either pick up or thrust interactable objects to help solve puzzles, respectively.

The levels consist of typical 2D side-scrolling action that is relatively linear in nature, but the hook for this game comes in the form of full physics, whether it be in objects that lay around or in the weight of Bob's ship depending on the configuration that you build. Just because you may need to attract a ball with your pull beam, the ship gets much more difficult to navigate if you don't compensate with counter-weights or added thrusters. Geniously, the developers have put a weight system for each piece that you attach, so there are consequences associated with funky configurations, even if they are fully functional.

Because of these little intricacies in Bob Came in Pieces, the game potentially can play much longer than it actually is. The puzzles themselves aren't necessarily that difficult to figure out either, but getting the right configuration, along with being able to navigate it, is what keeps this game interesting until the very end. The puzzles do get a bit more complicated as you progress, but once you do get past them, the replay value won't be that high from a brain-teasing standpoint. However, each level contains (sometimes hidden) pieces that may not be as obviously solvable, so if you choose to skip picking up any objects (or miss them altogether), you can always look forward to going back through the levels and trying to hunt them down.

There were a few problems that arose as I went through Bob Came in Pieces, but most were relatively forgivable. The biggest issue that recurred was that the ship kept getting stuck, most notably when a crazy ship configuration was used in tight spaces. Fortunately, the developers anticipated this, and a quick press of the Enter key pops you back to the last checkpoint (which also acts as your configuration station) and resets the puzzles (sometimes). I also ran into an issue where I was unable to get the rockets to fire in multiple directions (left/right) at the same time when trying to gently guide myself into tight areas, but for the most part this worked.


Bob Came in Pieces starts out with a mini-tutorial from the start, explaining all there is to know about the game and how to control and configure the ship. From there, each level features at least one puzzle element, starting out relatively simple and ending up being more complex toward the end of the game in the later levels.

The tutorial does continue briefly to give you the hang of special cases, like using the push or pull beams to solve puzzles or move objects around on the screen. By adding length to where your rockets or beams are attached to the ship, you can also manipulate objects that are at a further distance. You'll also have to configure your ship to carry more weight, for example, so that you can haul different objects to a specific point in the level in order to pass it and move on.

The overall difficulty of Bob Came in Pieces really isn't all that extravagant. Instead, finding a balance of ship configuration and maneuverability tends to be where any frustration may unfold. Once you get the hang of it, however, Bob Came in Pieces will be a breeze to pass. It should be noted that sometimes the physics can actually get crazy and frustrating when trying to do a precise movement while carrying or moving objects.

Game Mechanics:

Bob Came in Pieces has very basic controls, but they can also be fully configured as you build your ship. By default, you'll use the arrow keys to fly around, but each thruster can be remapped as you go, and changed at any time that you land on a checkpoint station. In fact, multiple objects can be mapped to the same keyboard button, making it possible to really build up some speed with multiple rockets, for example, mapped to the Up Arrow. The only downside was that the game was not compatible with Microsoft's Xbox 360 controller (for PC). However, I'm sure that mapping keyboard keys to other types of PC-compatible controllers would make the game even more enjoyable, but this was untested.

Configuring your ship is absolutely outstanding, very intuitive, and helps make for a completely new experience as you try different ways to navigate or solve puzzles. The best part is that you can save and load ship configurations, which is a huge time-saver for frequently used setups. This is just an added touch that adds to the overall gameplay experience, even when it isn't directly essential to the gameplay element.

Bob Came in Pieces is absolutely worth the $10 USD that the publisher is asking for, and can be played by gamers of nearly all ages (I would suggest maybe 8+). Don't expect a long game by any means, but the 13 levels that are there are quite enjoyable. The final levels also put a bit more challenge into the game, eliminating the feeling that you're just playing more of the same. While Bob Came in Pieces may not be perfect, and while it is rather short, the low pricetag combined with the innovative gameplay makes this one worth downloading today.

-Woody, GameVortex Communications
AKA Shane Wodele

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows XP/Vista/7; 2.4 Ghz or equivalent processor; 1GB System RAM (2GB recommended with Vista/7); DirectX 9.0c; 128mb video RAM and Shader Model 2.0; 500mb or more free space; Windows compatible sound card; Keyboard and mouse

NOTE: The GPU need to be at least as powerful as GeForce 6600


Test System:

Dell Vostro 1700 Laptop: Intel Core 2 Duo CPU T7100; Dual 1.8 GHz Processors; 2 GB RAM; NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT; Xbox 360 Wireless Controller with PC USB Wireless Receiver

Related Links:

Microsoft Xbox 360 Alpha Protocol Microsoft Xbox 360 Shrek Forever After

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