ibb and obb
Few days ago I bought on Steam the quite new indie game. Created by Sparpweed Games, it is a puzzle platform game strongly oriented to co-op. The graphics are simple and cute and the game is quite relaxing even if sometimes quite hard. The most interesting feature of this game is that it presents a world with a bidirectional gravity: the two players walk on the two sides of the same platform but upside down.
It is more simple to show that to explain, so here the trailer of the game:
This twofold gravitational environment is the basis for pulling together the two players. Cooperation in games is not always so simple to achieve and many co-op games doesn't involve a lot of real cooperation between players. Ibb and obb is different for two reasons.
The first one is that you can play ibb and obb in two with the same keyboard. On-line gaming has the weird feature of making more simple to play with someone far away that with someone near. When you play ibb and obb you are literally sitting aside your friend, and this create a different kind of relationship with the other player.
The second one is that the whole game has been conceived in a way that forces the players to collaborate, to think and care about each other. Even the system of points has been added in a second stage as an additional spur to cooperation.
I've played ibb and obb with my wife and we both loved the way in which it is a awesome metaphor for marriage. I know for sure that this wasn't the idea of the creators (the initial title of the game should have been “brothers”), but nevertheless it's true. While you play at ibb and obb you should always try to see the world from both points of view (e.g. some portals are accessible only for one of the players and not for the other), you have to be ready to help your partner even when it could seem humiliating (e.g. make the other player climb on your head to reach an high step) and most of all you have to trust him of her completely.
Ibb and obb is not an edugame and is frankly fun, but it proves how video-games, so often criticised, can be a valuable human experience and an occasion for personal growth.