DEVELOPER: BadLand Games/Dazlog Studio
REVIEWED PLATFORM: Windows (Steam)
OTHER PLATFORMS: OSX, Linux
BadLand Games have had an interesting catalog since launching their Indie division. There have been some great titles like Dex and 8DAYS, along with a small sample of other titles in development like Do Not Feed The Monkeys which show great promise. The latest game to come from the company is BOOR, produced by Dazlog Studio and fully released today on all PC and Mac platforms.
BOOR is the name of an AI in the game that currently oversees the world. It starts you off with a brief story about a land called Eden, who developed a computer named BOOR to make their lives easier when (surprise, surprise) things went awry. Flash forward to the future where you're playing as a girl who was living in a stasis tube, until a computer malfunction set you free in Eden. Now it's up to you to maneuver through the lands by solving puzzles, collecting items and putting together the mystery of what actually happened to BOOR and what its plans are.
It doesn't matter if you use controller or keyboard in this game as the setup is pretty basic. Aside from maneuvering you only have two buttons: Jump and Action. For the most part, your action button has a very specific use—you can duplicate yourself. You simply push the button and a ghost-like image will appear of yourself, which you'll use to activate buttons or find your way around puzzles to push forward in each stage. Your ghost version comes with a bubble which acts as a countdown clock to show how much time you have before it disappears, leaving you to send a new ghost out to do stuff. You can extend your time by picking up red bubbles floating in certain places, but it only extends it for an extra five seconds.
The puzzles slowly upgrade as you go, adding an extra sense of difficulty to each stage to make progression a tiny but harder. There are also robots throughout the game that will kidnap you or kill you on sight, making you start over. But your real enemy in the game is the jump button. You can either press for a short jump or hold down for a slightly longer jump, but you'll find yourself misjudging several jumps as you go and find that your own timing will kill you more than the level ever will.
The graphics to BOOR are a nice palate mixture of grays and reds, giving the world a defined look while not overstating it with a multitude of colors. It reminds me of episodes from Samurai Jack where less is more and the definition of the world can be told through two sets of colors. The animations also give the game a slight pop-up book feeling, which is a charming aesthetic without it being a pop-up design. The music to the game is equally great, it sets a tone for fun and adventure while having a cute charm to it. It has a bouncy quality to it with a sense of innocence to match your character and her journey.
BOOR is a cool puzzle game that has quite a lot going for it, the only drawback is that the game is a little short. It does have some replay value to it, but even that gets blown out after a while. The story does have a good hook and makes you want to complete the game. Hopefully down the road they'll add more challenges to it or create a great sequel to it. I recommend snagging the game if you're into the puzzle/platform mix and dig seeing a new art design in the process.