REVIEW: Keebles! (PC)

by Danny Van Drunen

Developed by Burnt Fuse out of Melbourne, Australia, this home grown physics based puzzle game is about as addictive as a game can get.

REVIEW UPDATE: (05/04/2015)

Burnt Fuse have recently released the full version of their game. I have previously reviewed this game and it was very enjoyable – despite the fact that I don't really like puzzle games.

Like I mentioned in my previous review, this game is fun. I didn't have a slew of hissy fits trying to pass the harder levels. What the newer release of the game offers is simple; a litany of minor bugs in the game that previously affected, only very slightly, the enjoyment of the player have been solved.

The aim of the game is still the same. You have been charged with saving the Keebles that are in a variety of predicaments. Use the in game workshop to build yourself unique vehicles, centered around a fragile glass bobble, to collect Keebles as you move through the level. There are a variety of ways to complete each level and like most puzzle games you will fail over and over again trying to find the way that works for you. If you are having trouble with a level, you can skip over saving Keebles but, the more you save, the higher score you net at the end of the level.

If I had somehow come across this game without reviewing it, I would have purchased it. Keebles is addictive and I couldn't be happier that the Melbourne based developer Burnt Fuse is producing home grown games that stand a chance of permeating throughout the world and open market.

Keebles-screenshot-balloon

ORIGINAL REVIEW: (14/10/2015)

Usually, I don't tend to play puzzle games. They anger me to the point where I refuse to play any game for days, not to mention several angry and almost completely unwarranted letters usually get sent to developers. But I didn't mind Keebles too much. The story line is far from spectacular, but people don't tend to play puzzle games for a story line so this can be overlooked rather easily.

The aim of the game is to arrange various pre made pieces to create a vehicle to transport a glass bobble safely from one side of the map to the other. Once you set your vehicle free in the world, it has to navigate bumps, drop offs, cliffs and a variety of other obstacles. Just try not to put too much pressure on your vehicle because if you break the bobble you have to start over. Not breaking your bobble can seem like a mammoth task, given the fact that some vehicles can fly, slide, roll or float. Throughout each level there are small puff balls called Keebles. It is not essential to save them, but you are rewarded with a higher score if you are able to save them along your travels. You are also rewarded with a higher score the less time you take to complete a level.

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As previously mentioned, the game doesn't have an amazing storyline. Keebles are in danger and you have to save them by building a vehicle around the bobble.

Whilst this game is lacking in the storyline department, it certainly doesn't miss a beat when it comes to sound. The music employed throughout this game creates an air of excitement and wonder. This coupled with bright graphics made for a reasonably enjoyable experience. I often thought to myself "yes, yes, I need to save the Keebles, otherwise this happy music will stop".

The in game workshop used to build your vehicle is pretty easy to use. Your bobble sits in the middle of the screen and has four anchor points. You drag and drop parts into place, then connect them to the anchor points. If I had one complaint about the workshop, it would be the fact that, if you need to drastically alter your vehicle you have to click each individual piece and click a trash can to delete it.

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Other than this minor issue, the user interface is pretty clean. It certainly looks amazing and does the exact job you expect it to.

If you decide to check this game out, remember this. You will fail time and time again in the later levels, however don't let this dissuade you, learn from your previous mistakes and keep trying.

So what are you waiting for? Go release that creative beast shackled inside and get building some vehicles.