Take a moment to think back about your fondest memories as a child. You got one? Now imagine that memory was twisted evil and portrayed by Tim Burton, and you have Bulb Boy. I had no idea what I was getting into when I started playing and boy was I shocked by every moment. Bulb Boy is equal parts charming, disturbing, and gruesome and I loved every moment of it, even if it isn’t all that long.
Bulb Boy wakes suddenly from a frightening nightmare to discover that evil has overshadowed the Bulbhouse. His family has disappeared and there are horrid monsters lurking in the shadows. Solve puzzles and defeat wicked monsters that have taken form from your fears and even based off your own good memories. Bulb Boy is an adventure horror game sort of in the realms of Inside and Limbo but even more cute and twisted.
The gameplay is simple, you are given a stage filled with puzzles and items that you must collect and interact with to move forward. There are some that will challenge you and get you thinking of what weird way you must proceed and others that are predictable, but it’s just the overall imagery and literal “WTF” moments that are amazing. Another fun theme the developers keep throughout the game are little hidden easter eggs of other popular things. They make reference to the Nintendo Power Glove, The Ring and even Mickey Mouse and a lot more.
I don’t want to get too deep into it since the game is all about the disturbing story and puzzles, but I will give you a taste of what’s going on here. There is a point in the game where you’re inside of a monster and you must get to the other side of this lake of stomach acid. You must consume a rotten sausage that is wedged inside of an ear. That way you can projectile puke so hard you can hover yourself over the lake of stomach acid. Just let that sink in for a moment. And this isn’t the even the most bizarre thing in Bulb Boy.
The lighting actually adds to the eeriness of the game. The majority of the game is dark and creepy, but you’re guided by your own green lit head. The entire time it looks like you’re looking through night-vision goggles and you have to use yourself as a light bulb and a power source to proceed through some puzzles. The graphics are pleasant, it has a hand drawn look that’s very clean and well detailed. The sound design is all well done here with all the creepy sound effects, cute little giggles, and unfortunate death screams being high quality.
I wasn’t even sure what to expect from Bulb Boy when I decided to grab it for my Switch, but I sure am glad I played it. I love the setting and twisted horror themes along with the competent puzzles that are presented. While some could have been a bit more challenging, there will be parts where you will die multiple times trying to figure out the exact actions to take and yes, the enemies do not hold back from destroying or mutilating poor Bulb Boy. My main gripe is that it is just too short. I wanted more, and without any difficulty settings or any other modes there really isn’t much replay value.
Bulby Boy is available for Switch, PC, iOS and Android.