It’s not very often that you see a horror game with a relatively cute main character. Bulb Boy himself may seem like a little light bulb guy about to go on an exciting adventure, but this is not going to be a whimsical night for him. Bulb boy mashes up some adorable characters with a world straight out of Tim Burton’s nightmares.
Through puzzle solving and some light stealth, you must guide Bulb Boy through the horrors that are attacking his home and maybe, just maybe, get back to those better times he dreams about. Is playing this game a bright idea? Read on to find out!
Simple Puzzles With a Late Game Curve
Bulb Boy is a 2D horror adventure that takes you through a variety of detailed and stylized environments. The majority of the gameplay involves puzzle solving that remains right in the sweet spot between complicated and simple.
None of the puzzles are going to stump you, but a few may have you thinking for a few minutes before it hits you. Many of them are dependent on finding items you need to solve specific problems, but others involve some cause and effect scenarios and some planning to make them work.
While there’s certainly some horror to be gained from the game’s dark and genuinely unsettling environments, the game also sprinkles in some stealth segments and a few bosses during the 2-hour adventure.
While this may not seem like a long time, Bulb Boy comes in at a very low price, even when it’s not on sale, so the length wasn’t an issue for me. I felt like the game packed a lot of content into a smaller package, which made the pacing excellent across the board.
The stealth sections themselves definitely add to the tension, but I could have lived without them to be honest. One particular segment involving a giant headless chicken was one of the moments I really enjoyed, but others weren’t as exciting for me.
The game rides high on its atmosphere and gruesome monster design, so it didn’t really need any stealth gameplay to add to the horror. I was plenty terrified of running from and avoiding some of the gnarly beasts that you come across.
The only other issue I have with Bulb Boy is the difficulty spike at the end. The game’s final encounter is significantly harder than everything preceding it. I died more times in that one encounter than in the rest of the game combined.
That’s not to say it wasn’t a cool final moment, but it drags on far too long and offers way too much room for error to be enjoyable. This is exacerbated by the fact that the controls aren’t responsive enough for the split-second decisions you’ll need to make to avoid instant death.
An Inspired and Horrific Art Style
Bulb Boy has an absolutely exquisite art style that effortlessly combines whimsical character design with gruesome and grotesque enemies and environments. The best comparison I can make, is that it feels like one of Tim Burton’s nightmares.
The graphics look incredibly crisp in HD, with smooth lines and bold details. To speak in detail about some of the enemy designs would be to spoil the best parts of the game, so you’ll just have to trust me when I say that they will make even the most accomplished horror gamer’s stomach turn.
While it’s short at only a couple hours, Bulb Boy is still an excellent horror title for the low price. The sights alone are worth the trip, even if the light illuminates a few issues with the difficulty curve.
Final Score: 8.0/10
A copy of Bulb Boy was provided to PS4 Experts for review purposes
Article by - Bradley Ramsey
Insert date - 6/5/18