After I beat BOOR, I thought long and hard about how to write this review.
I personally believe that a game should be judged by its own merit. On the flip side of that, there are MANY puzzle/platformers that BOOR is rubbing shoulders with. Now depending on which side you find yourself landing on may affect your decision to purchase this game.
BOOR is a Puzzle/platformer along the same lines as the famous Limbo/Braid. Taking visual queues from one of my favorite games, Monochroma. You play a small child in a futuristic paradise called Eden. A colony of sorts, where things have gone terribly wrong thanks to an artificial intelligence that calls itself BOOR. Our heroic girl has an amazing ability that she can multiply herself for a limited time. She will have to use this gift as she awakens in a mysterious place filled with lasers/robots and assorted death traps.
Gameplay itself is rather simple. Not too many buttons to fuss with and simple responsive controls. You will find yourself wishing that the little girl could move a bit faster, but I never found there was an issue of delay. You can jump, and multiply. That’s about it. Occasionally you will find a door or switch that requires you to flip by pressing one of the directional buttons. Basic goal is just keep going right until the end.
Moving on to the meat of the game, lets talk about the puzzles. BOOR has an incredible and addictive flow to how the game progresses. You complete puzzle rooms and get tidbits of story all the while progressing towards a boss. I have played quite a few of these types of games, so I didn’t have any trouble with the puzzles. Mostly they are simple and logical and do lean on the easy side. While the ability to multiply is a rather simple mechanic, BOOR does use it to a great extent in many different ways. Having you sacrifice clones, press multiple switches, and fool your enemies as to where you are.
BOOR does a solid job of raising the ante and introducing different environmental hazards. From robots with giant laser rifles or turrets with heat seeking rockets. You may only have one power but you use your enemies as a power against themselves. This idea is highly prevalent throughout the game. There is even an achievement for having enemies shoot each other. You must be aware of your own character, the clone, and what your enemies are doing, which leads to some tricky moments.
Then you have the boss fights. These I had a bit of a love/hate relationship with, as they are super simplistic. All the bosses have a pattern that they follow to be defeated. The only reason you find yourself dying is because the pattern changes little by little as the fight progresses. It’s more about just standing in the right spot at the right time then anything skill related. Which means you might just die simply cause you didn’t know what was going to happen next.
Throw in the fact you die in one shot and have to repeat every boss fight from the beginning and it can lead to some repetitive moments. Nonetheless, they are a welcome aspect that does break things up from being a slog of puzzle after puzzle. As a side objective there are hidden collectibles in the levels as well. The collectibles are just that, and don’t really change or add anything to the game.
Lastly, the developer on the Steam page says the game has eighty levels, which I can’t really comment on. The game doesn’t number the rooms you are in and to be honest I didn’t feel like there was really eighty puzzles more than just eighty rooms to the game in total. I could be wrong mind you. You are welcome to count.
The visuals of BOOR are perhaps what impressed me most about this title. BOOR has a minimalist approach using shades of grey, black and red. It uses these colors to create an impressive tone and startling scenes. Quite a bit of detail can be seen in most areas of the game and even in the backgrounds. While certain areas of the game are beautiful and majestic, others are industrial, cold, full of robots, sprockets, and steel. I would’ve like to seen more open areas for the art to truly shine but most of the time you’re plunged in the depths of a factory setting, solving puzzles.
Overall character design and level design are done well especially for its simple aesthetics. Despite the puzzles leaning on the easy side they are designed well. I didn’t find any bugs, mistakes, or issues of any kind during my time with BOOR. Graphically, I have very little complaints other than it is disturbing no human being has pupils in this game. Makes it seem like everyone is wearing glasses. This is especially odd given that all the robots have pupils. Another minor detail is that death is always the same no matter what hits you. Some of the fun of puzzle/platformers is watching the main character die in a horrific ways. BOOR just has you fly back on to the ground even if a missile hits you.
Another area that I do have a bit of gripe with is BOOR’s soundtrack. It is very repetitive and did begin to grate on my ears especially during boss fights. This could be chalked up to personal preference but there is an option to turn it off. It just becomes super hectic during boss fights and very distracting. In other areas of the game the music is just fine. Certain sound effects were way super loud for some reason as well. Anytime you would read dialogue I had to remove my head phones as the noise became overwhelming. Sound sliders would’ve been very welcome for these types of situations but unfortunately there are none.
You are looking at about a four to five hour game in total. Perhaps longer or shorter depending on your skill with these types of games. Sadly, the game lacks a bit of replay value as it is a once and done type of deal. This is why I suspect there is only one save file for you in the game. I am fine with this as the game doesn’t overstay its welcome. BOOR is rather fast paced and I liked that aspect. The game does have controller support but for XBOX controllers only, as my Logitech wasn’t detected. The game does also feature Steam Achievements/Cards.
By the time I finished BOOR I had more questions than I did answers. Whats with the cat jacket? How did I survive that crash? Why can I multiply? The developer definitely leaves it open to the idea of a sequel. I would recommend relaxing when it comes to the story as it is a rather light aspect. Nothing is super concrete other than evil robots. Go.
Like I said at the beginning, based off its own merits BOOR does exactly everything it needs in this genre of games. It’s fun and addictive but there are moments I wish BOOR thought outside the box. There is no stand out feature here that is innovative and makes this a must buy. It’s a solid well made game if you enjoy the genre. It doesn’t re-invent the wheel essentially. Coming in at €4.99/$4.99/£3.99 I can easily say it’s a safe purchase, coming far below the usual indie standard. This is more than a fair price and I recommend this game to anyone who loves the aforementioned games.