Bob Help Them! (Switch, PC)

Meet Bob.  He helps people.  Help Bob help people in this retro styled chore simulator with a heavy emphasis on time management.  Chop wood from trees, harvest fruit, and other Animal Crossing style activities for the laziest group of NPCs ever.  But you have to do it all fast and efficient, as you’re under a strict time limit in each level.  Bob Help Them! is available to download on Switch and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

Each level is about four screens total, two tall and two wide. There are people in every level who ask for help.  You can see what they need by approaching them, as they’ll have a balloon over their head with a picture and the amount they want.  You can only hold one thing at a time, but you can drop and pick up other objects easily.  Some trees produce fruit over time, so you can approach one and press the button to pick them.  Barns either produce eggs or milk over time as well.

Some trees have axes near them, and you can approach those and start chopping wood by holding down the button.  Same goes for certain rocks with pickaxes next to them.  Hold down the button on those to mine stone, iron, or gold.  You can also fish at piers by holding down the button, and sometimes all you need to do is pet a dog for a few seconds in the same fashion.  Some of the materials you may have to cook or refine before giving it to a person.  Fruit or eggs can be placed at campfires to make pies or fried eggs.  Anvil shaped places can turn logs into lumber, and ovens can turn minerals into bars of iron or gold.  But it takes time for things to change into other things at these places, and that’s where the time management comes in.  You must figure out what things to ‘cook’ first so you can go and do other chores.  The activities kind of remind me of what you would do in an Animal Crossing game, more specifically the Pocket Camp mobile game.  Except here you’re under a strict time limit.

I do like the retro graphics, as they look like this game could’ve been done on the 8-bit NES.  But the game has some problems, too.  The time limit is so strict that you don’t have hardly any time to get the lay of the land.  Before the level starts, the game does quickly pan around to see all the NPCs, but I would’ve liked to have been able to pan around the level myself to see where everything else was before the stage starts.  I think that would’ve eliminated some of the trial and error gameplay.  The game does have a tutorial, but doesn’t explain some things like when you need to hold down a button to gather materials.  Luckily it’s pretty easy to figure out.  You can press a button to see what items can be turned into other things, but some of the fruit and pies are hard to differentiate between each other.  And even though you can earn up to three stars in each level, the game isn’t very rewarding.  Games about doing menial chores need to have some sort of instant gratification like unlockables (new outfits and such) or at least different locations besides the 8-bit RPG town motif.  I like the idea of this game, but the problems caused me to lose interest around level 10 or so.

Kid Factor:
Nothing violent or objectionable here.  Reading skill is helpful for some of the text, and younger gamers may find it too difficult.  Bob Help Them! is rated E for Everyone.

Discussion Area - Leave a Comment

Tired of typing this out each time? Register as a subscriber!