The Cambridge Geek


An open world action-adventure, Hob has you playing as an explorer of a world that has literally fallen to pieces. Having been taken over by some weird purple biological corruption, the mechanical world has been broken down into its component parts. It's up to you to put it back together.

You'll do this with the help of a friendly neighbourhood robot, and one of his arms, which he's happy to lend to you. (I'm guessing. Robots are very bad at showing emotion.)

Over the course of the game, you'll run, jump and fight through 3D levels, moving blocks, pulling levers and smacking people (monsters) in the face. The puzzles follow the fairly typical difficulty curve, starting simple enough to teach you the mechanics and ramping up to complexity such that you'll likely find yourself stumped occasionally. A couple of times this was due to a requirement for much more precise platforming than the slightly squishy controls seem designed for. It's the risk with the overhead viewpoint that you can occasionally find yourself leaping off a platform, meaning you need to go through a painful re-climb. Not quite often enough to be really annoying though.

Levers feature heavily.

Battles are fun, with meaty combat mechanics and the ability to fling enemies off cliffs and similar. A lot of thought has gone into making the damage logical, and it works well. I particularly enjoy running over the tiny spiders. The more humanoid baddies are also nicely varied, and dodging features more heavily than I expected. Which is a shame, as I'm generally bad at it. I'm learning.

Winning these fights and solving these puzzles causes the world to re-assemble. Massive gears spin into action and buildings, forests and whole areas spring up from storage to slowly build into a complete planet.

Occasionally the game insists you look at the pretty scenery. There's even designated sitting points for it.

It's a neat twist to the locked gates problem, where areas a protagonist doesn't have the skills for is hidden away, but it does raise some questions. Is this the only configuration that can be used? Why would you build a world that gets folded up? Are we secretly in a very tiny flat? You have to rather just accept the basic premise and run with it.

Still, it's a fun game even with the occasional frustrations. I'll finish it, damnit.

Highly recommended.

Tagged: Game Adventure 3D Easy difficulty PC