Originally developed as a part of Global Game Jam 2013, Boo! Greedy Kid was fleshed out to be a full release. Made by Flying Oak Games, a small developer based out of Metz, France, it stays true to those humble game jam roots as it can be completed within two hours from start to finish. This may not necessarily be a bad thing, as it follows a similar formula to the 8-bit titles it seems to emulate. If you are a gaming perfectionist or find the level editor interesting, you can possibly get hours of gameplay out of this game, but with only the single player campaign to speak of, you may not find much potential for replayability.
As you may already suspect, the gameplay itself is very simple. Your goal is to scare elderly inhabitants of the building to pick up the cash they drop, avoid getting hit (by either hiding behind furniture or rolling past your attacker), and make it safely to the exit. Alternatively, you can hook up a microphone to use your own voice (or any noise, really) to scare people instead of pressing a button. You also have the ability to taunt people with your butt if you’d like, always just one button press away from dropping your shorts to rile up nearby denizens. While the levels may increase in complexity and difficulty, the gameplay loop remains the same throughout.
The level design reminded me somewhat of the 8-bit Nintendo classic, Elevator Action, in that you are navigating through a 2-D view of a building, making your way through doors while trying to avoid harm. The similarities end there, however, and that’s for the best. The character designs and the art style in general are much more vibrant and fluid than anything from the 8-bit era, but the low-pixel count of the graphics seem like an intentional homage to that period in gaming. That’s really what this game is at its heart–an anachronism that’s meant to feel like it’s from a earlier time, but couldn’t exist there. Don’t get me wrong, crude games existed back then, but they were typically aimed at older audiences (until the 16-bit era at least. I’m looking at you, Boogerman).
It should be stated that this game does contain some brief graphic violence, which rarely touched an 8-bit system, and was still quite controversial when the original Mortal Kombat was released. Add in the not-so-subtle reference to the original Robocop movies and it becomes clear that the target audience for Boo! Greedy Kid is at least in their 30’s. That said, there is a humorous warning on the splash screen should you decide to let a child play it.
I felt that Boo! Greedy Kid does the bare minimum of what any game should do, and that’s pass the time. There were some nice nostalgic elements to it, including the 8-bit track that played through every level, which helped to entertain, but the lack of variety in gameplay does make it rather repetitive to play for longer periods of time. Still, I think it’s positive that at no point did I feel like simply walking away from the game, in either boredom or frustration. I’d rank this firmly in a take-it-or-leave-it category, and at $5 on Steam(Windows/Linux/Mac) you’re not likely to have buyer’s remorse if you pick it up as an impulse buy. Boo! Greedy Kid is available now.
Guest Author Trevor Edwards is a self-described foodie, gamer, musician, and traveler. His search for new experiences has brought him all over the United States and to a few other countries. He currently resides in Round Lake and is starting a career in education as a certified teacher’s aide. Unofficially, he’s just a big kid.