It must have been around ought-three or ought-four when I first discovered the original Bobby is Going Home while casually surfing some Atari 2600 ROMs by title. The exceedingly simple premise intrigued me:
Who knows? Who cares? Wherever he is, Bobby is getting the hell out of there and is going home, and it’s your job to make sure it happens.
The game itself offers no further contextual clues. Bobby must merely waddle his way, stage after neon-colored stage, past feeble winged creatures and gaping holes in the ground. All of this must be achieved with the use of only his wits and some surprising hops n’ hangtime.
The more I thought about it, the more this ridiculous and slightly pathetic little game exemplified the Atari 2600 era* in my mind: forget story, cutscenes, or characters- hell, you’re lucky to even be entrusted with the control of a vaguely humanoid shape. After all, you could be stuck navigating a colored square, or something.
Enter Bobby is Going Home 2. Originally conceived as my first attempt to create a game free from the trappings of a story or high expectations, it eventually grew to encompass far too much of my life. So here it is, a side-scrolling platformer with 40 “mind-bending” levels and 5 “awesome” powerups; bigger and badder than the original (at least in some respects) and enjoyable to me if only for its homage to delicious obscurity.
* It should be noted that I am in no way opposed to simplicty and elegance in game design- in fact, I generally classify overwrought “storylines” and bloated cutscenes alongside low-carb beer, cheap merchandise, and “Access Hollywood” on life’s grand barometer of desirability.