[Beyond PlayStation] Fobia Review
Can you help a girl escape her fears in puzzle-platformer adventure Fobia which is now out on Nintendo Switch? Learn more in our Fobia review!
Your adventure begins as you see a girl dressed with a red hood who is standing below a rather colorful tree with red leaves, next to a cliff. As soon as you move, a black crow flies out and away from the aforementioned tree, an omen of what is yet to come. All you can hear are the sounds of nature, of the fauna that calls this forest home. What could possibly go wrong on this particular day as the girl runs through the forest?
The controls are straightforward since all you’ll need to worry about is helping the girl run by using the left analog stick or the D-Pad, jumping as needed by pressing either the A or B buttons. You’ll be using this to go over gaps on the floor that would otherwise have you fall over deadly spikes or to jump before a make-shift bridge collapses under your feet due to your weight. One hit is all it takes for the girl to die, and you’re certainly going to be dying in this one as you use some good old-fashioned trial and error to learn more about what you can and can’t do in Fobia.
At first, you will be running and jumping as you explore the forest, but you’ll soon be pushing boxes and other objects to help you solve some of the puzzles. For example, there is one early on in the game where there’s a seesaw of sorts, and it keeps going down because of your character’s weight as you move from side to side. The issue is that you need to clear a rather high jump, and without the extra height from the board on the seesaw, you won’t be able to make it. Luckily there’s a box below it, so once you push that to the left and set it on top of that side of the seesaw, the box will act as a counterweight so that you can make your run and jump onward.
You’ll soon start to run into traps that, if you’re not careful and start paying attention to your surroundings, will spring up and kill you. If a spot on the ground looks suspicious, you probably shouldn’t be stepping over it, as it might send a log down flying towards you, impaling the little girl. There might be ropes traps that are covered up with leaves, old wooden structures that will crush beneath your weight, falling logs, and more. When you die, you will only lose a few seconds since the game has a very generous checkpoint system, so at least you won’t need to redo a lot of stuff when you make a mistake.
As a first effort from a two-person indie team, Fobia manages to grab your attention with its black, white, and red art style, presenting a linear 2D puzzle/platform that, other than a couple of bugs I ran into with a specific pair of puzzles, doesn’t do a lot of things wrong. The one thing that might be an issue is that you can complete the game in around 30-40 minutes at most which, at its $9.99 price point, might not make for an easy recommendation. The devs have learned a lot from this experience, and I look forward to seeing what the husband and wife team works on next.
This Fobia review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Eugene Lazebny.