Thursday, September 29, 2011

-REVIEW: Tobe's Vertical Adventure-
treasure hunting is dangerous business

Tobe’s Vertical Adventure
Developer: Secret Base
Price: $4.99 (PC, Steam)

Dear boy, why won’t you listen to me?

I know that everyone has to start somewhere when it comes to their hobbies. For some of those more perilous hobbies, it’s easy to imagine how to start learning them: wrestle little lizards first, then maybe an iguana, then a caiman, and then kind of work your way up to a full-size alligator. Or maybe start a skydiving career by jumping off your car onto your old college mattress, then from your roof into a wading pool, then from your corner office onto the nearby avenue, and finally from your best friends plane 10,000 feet up in the air. But what about treasure hunting?
Try Tobe’s Vertical Adventure.

Ok so first the good: Tobe looks great. The whole game has a beautiful, unified look that keeps the atmosphere light and appealing despite the fact that what’s actually happening is more or less children constantly being placed in mortal danger for monetary gain. It’s assumed that it is the child’s monetary gain of course, but who knows! After all, it is YOU who controls this child, and it’s rather dubious to assume that you are in fact of the same age as young Tobe. It’s more likely that you are in no way shape or form similar to this long-haired treasure-hunting hooligan at all, really.
Which is probably for the best, considering his unwieldy acrobatics and the difficulty he has climbing small ledges. He’s clearly an amateur adventurer; it takes considerable effort for him to do things that you’d expect a person intent on nabbing booby-trapped buried treasure to be well-prepared for. I mean, if you KNOW that the phat lewt you want has some rather wicked death traps attached to it, you’d be prepared for the contingencies, right? It seems Tobe is content to rely upon the goodwill of dead adventurers and the fact that he has three unexplainable lives with which to escape with said phat lewt. The unexplainable part is how he keeps the dread and vomit down every time he sees his own skull, which remains after each untimely death he experiences in the caves.
Eventually you’ll get the hang of it though, and what’s nice about the whole endeavor is that little Tobe does manage to progress in his hardiness, wieldiness, and cashola as you go along. What doesn’t sit so right with me is that fact that he never really gets any better at climbing those blasted ledges. Apparently it’s easier just to learn how to take more lumps as opposed to learning how to avoid taking them altogether.

Tobe’s Vertical Adventure - overpopulation control: the game.