Nevada Bob 1 by Ryan FerneauTitle Screen
October had a mere three games eligible for the MTP released to Z2, beginning a typical end-of-year slump in production. The two noteworthy releases were Ryan Ferneau's highly surreal Nevada Bob 1: He's on the Job, based on his comic book series, and an interesting well-presented Sonic game, Sonic the Hedgehog ZZT by Brain Bomber. Ryan Ferneau's game managed to outshine its opponent, and is this month's MTP.Professor Potcrack Outside Nevada Bob's store
William Robert Joseph Pinze, aka Nevada Bob, is a successful country boy entrepreneur, a vendor of giant robot suits ... and who doesn't need a giant robot suit at least now and then? He is famous for the advances he has made in giant robot suit technology, in particular for his most recent invention, the compact robot suit, which can be easily carried and enlarged for action merely by adding water.
We join Nevada Bob happily catering to his customers in his giant robot store, when he is suddenly interrupted by his major competitor: Stupid Stu, aka Professor Potcrack, also a specialist in giant robot suits. Bob gives chase at Potcrack's provocation, and when the store's security fail to take him out, Bob concludes that he is "on the job" and must himself take out Professor Potcrack in order to preserve his business.
Naturally, Bob immediately descends into the sewers in order to locate Professor Potcrack's laboratory. He will have to solve mazes, defeat four robots, solve a few slider-and-boulder puzzles, and win an epic RPG battle: his giant robot against Professor Potcrack's, not to mention Potcrack's formidable accomplice LEET HAXOR.Outside Potcrack's Laboratory Another One of These
Gameplay wise, Nevada Bob 1 is an interesting breath of fresh air with the games at the moment; quite apart from the music, which is almost all very good, Ryan demonstrates some competence in puzzle and maze design; the puzzle shown in screenshot five impressed me in particular. A lot of the other puzzles are classic slider/boulder type fare, and are well-designed and not inordinately difficult. The sewer maze can be a little frustrating to complete in the dark ... the jingle for the 'dead end' message is still ringing in my ears.
There is a reaction-time testing RPG battle between Bob's robot and that of Professor Potcrack, and some simple shoot'em'up action scenes opposing the robot guardians. The lack of ammo and health in this game is a problem, although it is partially compensated for by the presence of a vendor later in the game, or an ammo duplicator in Potcrack's laboratory if one has the patience to wait for it.
The graphics, in contrast, are nothing truly admirable, but Ryan's simple style seems to work with his characters and story well enough, and he manages to remain consistent (with the exception of some strange boards in the confrontation with the final boss). Facial cutscenes are used to full effect to familiarise the player with the characters.Masamune
The game becomes increasingly surreal as Nevada Bob makes progress, ending with the fusion of Professor Potcrack and LEET HAXOR into one greater being (lol omg just leik in crono trigr), the defeat of whom heralds Bob's victory and enables him to return to vending his robots.
Nevada Bob 1: He's on the Job is a fine release from Ryan Ferneau, surreal and wacky with nice music, reasonable graphics and some interesting puzzle design. It has a few minor problems from a technical perspective, but is overall rather good and is definitely worth a download. For those who enjoy this game, I also recommend Ryan's entry for ZZTV8: #iratepirate. Good work, Ryan, and congratulations on your well-deserved award!
7 / 10