Hob, skip, and a jump
I recently got my hands on a review code for Hob from the folks at Runic Games and from the moment I saw the images online, I felt this was a game that I wanted to play. Indie games tend to rely more on certain “gimmicks” or a certain gameplay mechanic and Hob is no different but I’ll get to that in a moment. It’s time to take a Hob, skip, and a jump and I promise that will be the only time I used that to transition to my next thought.
I started out earlier by saying that Indie games tend to rely on a certain gameplay mechanic more than non-indie games but that isn’t always a bad thing. Hob shows why having a solid core gameplay mechanic in the “Glove” is an awesome gameplay mechanic. Your guided along the world by a robot-like creature similar to Yoda-Luke Skywalker when something happens to your arm. (Use your imagination as to what happens next, kids)
Now, with your new abilities, there will be new doors open to you in the world such as being able to break through walls or pull bricks. You’ll also have the ability to locate new upgrades for your glove while exploring the world and you’ll need these upgrades to proceed in the world so look hard. You also have the option to go out of your way to explore the islands to find orbs that are currency in Hob.
This is another way that you can upgrade your playable character and how the game has RPG elements in it. You will have to solve puzzles and look high and low for orb pillars to break because the upgrades aren’t cheap. There are upgrade discs hidden for you to find as well but when you find these upgrades, they’re only added to the “store” and give you the opportunity to purchase them.
If Hob feels like you’ve played it before, then it’s probably because it plays similar to the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. You have the ability to attack enemies with your sword as well as upgrade your sword. You have the ability to purchase a shield upgrade for your glove and protect yourself against enemies. You also have the ability to lock-on/target an enemy and attack one enemy at a time. These are all abilities that Link can use in Ocarina of Time and most gamers have played and view Ocarina of Time in a positive light!
The puzzles in Hob range from simple to really tough and you might not have the upgrade you need to move on in the area. You will have to explore all over the place to find everything you need to advance. You might need a glove upgrade to get through a brick wall or you might need to upgrade your sword to take out an enemy but that’s what makes the game fun and interesting!
There were times where it was tough to tell what was an enemy and what was an animal just in the environment because there were good animals in the wild. You could attack these animals and collect health but it felt morally wrong. Either way if I needed health to survive, I was hunting some random animals. It was also tough at times to see what was going on certain areas such as the caves or crossing an electric field. The issue I had with the electric field was it was tough to tell that it was electrified. You don’t get penalized for dying so there is going to be a lot of trial and error in this regard.
My major issue with the game was the slowdown while playing. While it looks fantastic graphically, Hob had major slowdown during gameplay at times and the concerning thing was there wasn’t too much activity going on in the area to cause the slowdown. In this modern era of gaming for the PlayStation 4, slowdown shouldn’t happen and that is a red flag for the rest of the game if there is slowdown during minimal gameplay action. It doesn’t make the game unplayable but it did make me think about issues that could rear their ugly head later on.
It’s these reasons that I’m giving Hob for the PlayStation 4 a 7.5/10. I would like to thank Runic Games for the review code.