Local co-op gaming is a great way to combine your favourite hobby with a social experience. Working together with a buddy to overcome obstacles, with some laughter and failure along the way, is one of my favourite ways to spend a day. The Switch is a great console for co-op gaming (in no small part thanks to having two built in controllers) so I was delighted to see that the 2013 indie darling ibb & obb was coming to Nintendo’s beloved device.
ibb & obb is purely a two-player cooperative game, meaning that if you don’t have another person with you, you won’t be playing the game. Once you have a willing participant you can choose between the title characters (ibb is a green blob with legs and obb a pink blob with legs) and begin your platforming adventure.
The two player platforming means you’ll be jumping and boosting off each other constantly to navigate the obstacles of the world, and good communication is key. To complicate matters, ibb & obb is split into a surface level and a reverse gravity upside down level. Using barriers to switch sides (and often ensuring one of your blobs with legs is on each side) will help you avoid obstacles and danger as you travel to the right to victory.
ibb & obb is full of hazards from the get go. Enemies exist in both of the game’s gravitational planes, but on one side they will always be vulnerable to being defeated by a single touch. As you have no means to attack an enemy outside of touching it’s weak white side, avoidance is the name of the game. If either you or your partner make contact with the deadly black side of an enemy, you’ll both disintegrate and have to start at one of the game’s (thankfully very forgiving) checkpoints.
Switching sides and gravity is a really fun mechanic to centre the game around, and finding the best way to navigate an enemy heavy section does require some thinking, as well as a little trial and error. Some of the mysterious gates you use to switch sides are coloured green or pink, meaning that only ibb or obb respectively can go through, which leads to some lonely moments where you’ll need to travel separately. Alongside the gates you’ll also find bounce pads. If your partner is on the other side of one and you land on it, your momentum will be transferred straight into them as they go soaring through the air. Utilising every aspect of the environment, and manipulating gravity at every opportunity is the only to traverse the world ahead of you.
The actual levels in ibb & obb are incredibly stylish, with colourful background objects and beautiful skies that fade from one gorgeous shade to another. Alongside these aesthetically pleasing areas, you’ll also find a variety of charmingly shaped friends on your adventure. Not only do these allies add to the visual appeal of the world, but they can also aid you in traversing the landscape as a handy living platform.
There are two main methods of playing ibb & obb, with individual Switch consoles, or with a joycon each. The controls are simple enough that a single joycon is a more than functional way to provide a control stick and a jump button. You do need another person available to play with you to enjoy ibb & obb, but with a fairly short runtime of around 5 hours you could feasibly beat the game in one wild weekend session.
ibb & obb is an incredible enjoyable and utterly charming local multiplayer experience. Thinking through how to overcome it’s various gravity defying obstacles, and applying your plan successfully feels truly rewarding. As long as you have a pal to team up with and laugh at appropriately, you’ll find yourself having hours of fun dying repeatedly and blaming each other.
Originally this review stated there was no online functionality. This isn’t the case and we apologise for the error.
Using gravity to overcome obstacles is incredibly satisfying
Cooperative actions really make you work as a team
Beautiful aesthetic and charming creatures
Perfect for local co-op on the Switch
The difficulty at the start of the game might be off putting