“BOBA” by Casey MacNeil, Dalton Leavey, Connor Grail & Sony-Shock.

“A game about bubbles and stopping time[.]”

If ever a video game was comparable to a drink, this is probably it: “BOBA” is – not only because of its name or the main character who has a craving for it – the bubble tea among puzzle platformers. On the one hand, you feel like you have been sucked into a virtually generated sugar rush thanks to the grandiose levels, all of which invite you to do a speedrun. But on the other hand, the pleasure is given a more complex flavor thanks to the contrasting audiovisual design. For example, the stages are primarily in a black and white scheme, but the colors of the rainbow also shimmer out when interacting with bubbles. The shifting music, which ranges between funky melodies and booming electro basses, also knows how to thrill.

But the main point of the comparison brought forth initially relates to the core mechanics of “BOBA”: As soon as you jump into one of the bubbles, it slowly gets smaller and smaller. However, as long as it still exists and the character is inside it, almost all elements of the game world slow down. This is the only way to successfully maneuver the character through all the traps, rotating saw blades and parkours filled with belligerent turrets. At the same time, this concept is also a perfect ludic approach to the gummy, chewy consistency of the tapioca pearls known as boba. Just try it yourself and you will understand what I mean. [PLAY]