If Labskaus would be a mobile game, I guess we would call it Borbudo. As its culinary cousin, Borbudo looks like a mess and seems unenjoyable at first sight, but if you get yourself into it, you’ll discover a substantial menu for real adventurers. Set sail!
Borbudo by Rob Lehrbass is an open-world arcade action-adventure game, that is inspired by classics like Gauntlet, Metroid and Time Bandit. It’s an impressively huge collection of worlds you can explore, each of them set up with (completely) different stories and quests. And that’s the biggest strength of this game: You can jump from a WWII battlefield right into a Pacman machine and yet there are still so many other worlds to discover. This amount of creativity, originality, love for details and imaginativeness deserves the utmost respect. I could highlight a dozen things, but let me just point out one thing, that occurs right at the beginning: The narrative isn’t brought to you with simple text boxes, no, all instructions and explanations are burned into the ground with a laser beam. How cool is that?
Anyway, given that this game is still alpha, a stage where key gameplay functionality is implemented, but we can still expect a lot of changes, we should also mention a few things, that have to change.
It’s quite a challenge to update Labskaus for la nouvelle cousine, but the developer has to revamp the graphics. Even if Rob says he has his reasons. I don’t care. No matter the reasons, no game has to look like this. Luckily, there is a simple solution: Make it retro! With pixelated graphics, 8-bit sounds and clear colors, that are high in contrast, this game would be way more enjoyable and even closer to its role models mentioned above.
Plus, I had this “I got no idea what I’m doing” moment a bit too often while playing Borbudo. The open world concept is fundamental to this game, but I don’t think it’s a good idea to overwhelm new players with tasks, choices, and freedom at first. Maybe a tutorial or a more linear beginning would do wonders here.
I bet not everyone will recognize it at this stage, but I can see the huge potential of Borbudo. Although it will take a lot of work and, I’m afraid, some essential decisions, I’m convinced that we all should follow Rob’s progress and download the game here.
All pictures are in-game screenshots.