Boogey Boy – What We Think:
Nightmares can feel like an endless, adrenaline pumping, unpredictable ride of uncertainty. They can feature abstract or familiar areas that we don’t question but just accept in the moment. Coincidentally, some of the aspects that make up nightmares are found in Boogey Boy, a game by Goon Studios. This randomly generated, endless runner features a character that’s trapped in a nightmare, and his only solace is to find a way out.
The game starts off with your character sleeping in a room beside someone who appears to be a sibling. Your sibling is all of a sudden captured and taken by a mysterious shadowy creature. Soon after, you are captured as well by the shadowy figure and transported into an unfamiliar world. With a flashlight in hand, you are frightened by a dark specter and the three batteries in your flashlight fall out as you attempt to run away.
Our Running Commentary
The game plays like your standard endless runner: Tap the screen to jump, tap the bottom left of the screen to use the power-ups you pickup throughout the levels.
The tapping feels good, thanks to its ease and responsiveness. Another great aspect of the run, is the constantly-available double-jump that you can utilize to collect and avoid enemies.
Like most endless runners, the main goal is to get a high score. You obtain a high score by collecting stars that are graciously scattered throughout the levels. Collecting stars increases your score and your multiplier. If you get hit you lose your multiplier. Jumping on enemies and gaining a further distance increase your score as well.
The Shadow Knows
If you get hit, it’s not game over, it just slows you down. Get hit three times in a row however, the shadowy figure will get you and you’ll end up having to start the level from the beginning.
The only way to finish or stop running in a given level, is to collect three batteries to power your flashlight. Once you collect three batteries, your character shines his flashlight on the shadowy creature that’s been chasing you and is destroyed.
Assault For Battery?
Since the batteries are not finite in their appearance, the game has a terrific risk-reward system. Do you collect three batteries now? Or do I skip all the batteries and try to get the highest score possible? The choice is yours. The levels don’t get anymore difficult than what they are so avoiding the batteries early on is always a viable option in the early levels of the game, but not so viable in the last couple of levels where traversing gets more difficult.
Each level has a different creature chasing you to go along with its distinct theme. The first level has you running through a spooky mansion, while another level has you running through an open field and cloud platforms. Since all 5 levels are randomly generated, there is a certain amount of unpredictability to the level layouts. One level, for example, had a bed that acted as a jump pad to propel me vertically. On more than one occasion I’d hit an enemy that so happened to be placed right above the vertical platform. The randomization doesn’t break the game however, since platforms in the levels are always within jumping distance. There is, however, a downside to such randomization…
One annoyance I had with Robot Unicorn Attack, (another endless runner game), was that the levels were fixed, so it had poor replay value. Boogey Boy’s levels, by contrast, are different every time, but are ultimately bland because of it. The game does try to mix it up by adding a handful of powerups, but they aren’t as necessary and helpful as they could have been. It’s a good thing the traversal and gaining a high score was fun since the level layouts, for the most part, feel like palette swaps, even if they are pretty palettes.
A Dash Most Dashing
Boogey Boy is one of the most visually stylized endless runners that I’ve ever played. The backgrounds pop, everything has this cell shaded look with great contrasting colors. Every animation whether it was within the cutscenes or the enemies idle animations, everything was fantastically done. At times it reminded me of a Bit.Trip.Runner game with its moving backgrounds and superb visual flare.
The game’s music is another area where the production quality stands out; this wonderfully composed electronic, retro, 8-bit sound had me pumping up the volume. Tracks are catchy and never feel like they overstay their welcome.
Boogey Boy is a well-crafted and fun endless runner featuring great visuals and superb sound production. Unfortunately, its levels don’t feel all that different and the story is a bit too sparse to get you more invested. Boogey Boy’s positive aspects, however, propel it from being clumped in with the other mediocre endless runners out there.