Gobblin’ it up
Myfavourite moments in Hob occur in out of the way spots, on a secluded ledge overlooking a canyon perhaps, or a crow’s nest high up above the canopy reached only via a hidden ladder and series of climbable vines. These spots are marked by a symbol on the ground. You walk up to them and press a button and while you sit down or casually lean against a wall the camera swings down from its topdown perspective and presents you with a spectacular vista of the world ahead. The view is never anything less than gorgeous. I love them.
Taking a moment to catch your breath is wise. Hob is quite a demanding action-adventure. It’s not that its combat or puzzles are especially challenging; it’s more that it requires you to pay close attention to your surroundings and mentally keep track of all the different paths you have yet to explore as well as those locations you might need to return to later on once you’ve unlocked a new ability.
Hob’s world incredibly tightly designed. Paths intertwine and circle around and tunnel underneath. Hidden areas expose secrets that open up shortcuts that return you to where you started. Only now you’ve got a new power that lets you transform the original environment, swinging a platform to the opposite side of a field which lets you jump to a previously out of reach area and find a new item.
Most of your time will be spent exploring every nook and cranny of Hob’s densely structured landscapes. Along the way though you’ll be tested by some light mechanical puzzles - you’ll need to flick switches and pull levers to manoeuvre various contraptions into position, or work out how to power down an electrified gate and power up a lift in order to progress. They’re all exquisitely integrated into the world, and you’re constantly moving bits of the world around, reshaping things until you find the correct solution. It’s just immensely rewarding to play around and see what you can do.
There’s some light combat, too. You have a sword to dispatch basic enemies, a roll to dodge out of the way of the attacks of larger enemies, a shield to block heavy blows, and a power glove to punch through armoured defences, including some fragile walls. There aren’t a lot of enemies to fight, but given the large amount of backtracking you’ll inevitably do the balance between exploration and combat feels pretty much spot on. Just make sure you head back to your workshop now and again to upgrade your abilities.
Hob is a beautiful experience. It delivers a world that you can’t help but want to get lost in, a world full of tantalising mystery endlessly unfolding all around you. Sometimes you just want to find an out of the way spot and admire the view.
hidden areas expose secrets that open up shortcuts that return you to where you started
These vista spots give you a sneak peek at the next area you’ll explore.