Bulb Boy: story of a brilliant head in a dark world

If you’ve ever had a bit of a glimpse of the latest Nintendo Switch eShop releases, you’re likely to have focused on Bulb Boy for a moment. From the illustration that serves as the cover, the game of Bulbware has an unmistakable air, unique within the large panorama of indie


 on the Nintendo console.And in fact style is definitely the most characteristic element of the entire project, that which gives a specific identity to an adventure that otherwise could easily go unnoticed. Bulb Boy tells the strange story of a family of bulb-men rather out of the ordinary, who suddenly find themselves with the house invaded by dark presences: the boy protagonist,


woke up a night from a very restless sleep, sinks into another nightmare to eyes open if possible even worse, when he discovers that his beloved grandfather has been hit hard and the house is invaded by mysterious and evil creatures.

Bulb Boy: story of a brilliant head in a dark world

Not that the normal daily life proceeded properly like that of a typical country family: the fact that the members (the boy, the grandfather and the dog, in this case) are able to detach their head from the body and connect it to the chandeliers of home to shed light in the rooms says a lot about the normality of this family, but the sympathetic macabre touch that normally characterizes domestic life adds a new level of horror,


reaching almost disturbing results in the grotesque contrast between the sympathetic and boyish appearance of the protagonist and the situations between the splatter and the classic horrorin which it is possible to find oneself in the new


adventure that is before us. Precisely on this particular contrast is played all the charm of the game, which recalls a fairytale and dreamy style but plays with this style inserting continuous elements disgusting and disturbing, yet without ever losing sight of the black humor that frames the whole.

Bulb Boy: story of a brilliant head in a dark world


It is a kind of graphic story without words that appears on the screen, in which the objectives to be completed are never very clear at first but are expressed through comics and drawings, when they must obviously not be deduced using a minimum of intuition.


The structure derives directly from the tradition of graphic adventures, with a sort of dynamic interface that can undergo some variations depending on the situation.Basically, the protagonist controls himself directly with the analogue stick,


while the sensitive elements on the screen are highlighted with arrows when approaching to indicate possible interactions. In some cases check the good old cursor, in the sections where you can have a closer view of the objects to be collected or the kind of mini-games with assorted puzzles.


The interactions with objects and elements of the scenario are contextual and often unpredictable, but always very funny, following the humoristic-horror line that characterizes the entire production.

Bulb Boy: story of a brilliant head in a dark world

Being a boy with a head / light bulb, its characteristic is to be able to illuminate the environment, and this brings some consequences in its path against the looming darkness. In general, it is usually a question of combining objects with each other and elements of the scenario to achieve various effects and to move from one room to another of the large family mansion.


Although the exploration is always enjoyable, thanks to the beautiful characterization, and the interactions of the protagonist with scenery and characters are often very funny,


the construction of the puzzles in most cases is not so bright, with the solution that is or rather evident, given the scarcity of variables to be taken into consideration, or a bit ‘fortuitous, to be found by mixing together the few elements available through some attempts.


On the other hand, not being able to rely on any kind of text or dialogue, the immediacy and relative simplicity of the puzzle constructs is inevitable and even desirable in order not to make the whole thing excessively cryptic.



We have already said it but we reiterate it once again: the aesthetics of Bulb Boy alone would be worth the price of the ticket, which is also quite cheap for 7.99 euros. It is clear that the entire design of the game, from interactions with objects and scenarios to the construction of the enigmas, derives first of all from a remarkable coherence in the basic artistic vision.


The Polish team, made up of just two members, managed to put together a small game (also as a duration, since it ends in about two hours) with a really strong identity and a great charm. Its consistency is also remarkable: the decision to eliminate completely any type of verbal communication is well supported by the extreme expressiveness of the characters,


while the strong characterization of the settings is also valid as a drive to explore the mansion and continue the game. As a technical solution, Bulb Boy shows off a 2D graphics extremely curated in terms of style with some touches of great class, such as the particular


lighting system that accompanies the movements of the protagonist, being a kind of human light bulb, and the strange color choice focused on the shades of green, red and black, however able to release an expressive power of great impact. The contrast between the cartoony characterization and the cruelty of certain scenes is not new, and fans of various series of Cartoon Network and surroundings