Hob - Runic Games, open-world, sans dialogue, Shadow of Ico


And…its good!

nGAF users reporting PC version runs great , PS4 runs so-so.


Does anyone know if this is related in any way to the “Dresden Codak” web comic, which had a series named “Hob”? The art does look more than a bit similar.



I don’t think so. From Wikipedia:

A hob is a type of small mythological household spirit found in the north and midlands of England, but especially on the Anglo-Scottish border, according to traditional folklore of those regions. They could live inside the house or outdoors. They are said to work in farmyards and thus could be helpful; however, if offended they could become nuisances.

I think this is more likely the Hob they derived the name from.


Okay, played a bit this evening. Thoughts:

  • Looks super lovely and the character design is fantastic.
  • Navigation feels pretty good.
  • I was disappointed when I was given a sword, because the game had been feeling like it was going to be all navigational puzzles, and that sounded really great to me. Oh well.
  • Got stuck at one point with no idea where I should go. For a game that wants to evoke Zelda or ICO, they’ve left the starting area of the world just a tad too open, so I’m never quite sure how far back I need to go to find the next passage. (Turns out I didn’t realize you could jump sideways while climbing to grab another ladder. Tips for y’all!)
  • Throughout the world there are hints of mechanisms I think I’ll eventually be able to interact with, but can’t yet. It has a metroidvania structure in that regard.
  • Crashed twice. Yuck.
  • Stupidest stupid thing ever: A big boss who can kill me in one hit (I have a defense, but it can be tricky to use) and when I die I respawn a full minutes-run away! Come on, guys!

I’ll definitely be playing more. At the moment it feels like a really well-conceived game that needed a bit more time baking in the level design oven.


I have put about two hours into this: crashed twice, and had to respawn three times due to getting stuck in level geometry or otherwise unable to see my character on the screen.

I suspect the game engine itself is based on a Torchlight decedent (still written in Ogre, as I found out during one of the crashes), and the visuals have a similar feel. But whereas Torchlight was firmly in the ARPG/Diablo camp (Torchlight 2 is still the best Diablo 2++ in my book), Hob is a very different type of game.

Character control seems very floaty - it is difficult to climb ladders in a few places due to weird camera angles, and worse, jumping is not very precise. I have jumped to my death more than once by missing a simple jump to a platform straight across a gap because Hob decided to jump a few degrees off. (This is with the xbox controller). Also, the fighting is not great, but maybe will improve with upgrades?

Definitely a metroidvania - so poor control is really not good for this type of game.

In tone, it feels like it wants to be Brothers, maybe, but with there less clarity of direction and story. I found some Guild Wars 2 like viewpoints, that seem to be simply cosmetic. And since every game must be compared to Dark Souls now, it also seems a Dark-Souls-wanna-be, too – the world design includes unlockable shortcuts and the combat can be unforgiving with one-shots (as mentioned above)… which does not pair well with movement that feel like the controller is covered in peanut butter.

…all that said, the art design is quite pretty.

I really want to like this game, but I am not convinced quite yet. However, I am willing to put more time in and see if first impressions give way to something better.


I’m shocked that this game isn’t generating more buzz. My experience differs dramatically from the poster above.

The controls feel tight and responsive and the jumping puzzles are a real pleasure. I think the fixed camera works very well in providing a good viewpoint for the player whilst also serving as a guide to the next objective.

I agree that combat feels a bit loose and I generally survive by mashing buttons. However, if you run into a monster that is too tough chances are that you’re too weak to fight him yet. I’ve had much success by just running away (it helps that I’m already in tune with my innate cowardliness) :)

The stand out features for me are that the game is both clever and beautiful. Really beautiful in many places. You can really feel the care an attention to detail. Game of the year for me right now (tied with Prey).

Please give this one a whirl. At 20 bucks you won’t regret it.


We should never be shocked about this anymore. The market is insane right now.


Its probably good some of us waited to get it, they put out 3 patches now in 3 days, fixing stuffs.


I just started it earlier and I’m loving it.

I feel pretty spoiled between this and Steamworld Dig 2 in the last week.


I’ve played a few more hours and I like Hob a lot. It’s a little frustrating, because I think if they had put a little more time into it, it would be an absolute classic. Now that I’ve played through a few areas, I can say that 1) The environmental design is incredibly ambitious and beautiful and different from any other game I’ve seen, and 2) It almost goes by too fast or under-revealed. The way it moves chunks of the landscape around is incredible, and sometimes the environmental animations are as subtle and character-ful as the character animations! But really really great games of this type do a better job of showing you how all the landscape pieces fit together: you are [here]… your goal is [there]… you can’t get [there] because of [this]. And then you navigate through that space with that knowledge, having little ah-ha! moments as you go. I get some of those with Hob, but just as often I get “There’s a lever here, so I must have to pull it. Oh yeah, look, now I can go that way.” It’s not bad, but it’s not brilliant. That’s only sad because so many other brilliant elements are there, waiting to play their part in a great symphony. Hob (so far, for me) is more like an enjoyable movie soundtrack.

If they’re going to have combat, I’m glad it plays out like it does, which is as basically a trifle. No real challenge, but I get to see some neat new enemies every once in awhile and figure out how to deal with them. I like the proportion of big threats to small ones, and the mini-boss battles (despite the first, frustrating one I mentioned above) are refreshing, and refreshingly conquerable.

Relic has done a great job. I think the game also has improved in the later areas, so maybe my estimation of their work will continue to rise.


I too am really enjoying it, a couple of hours in. The balance of puzzle, exploration and combat feels spot on. I would prefer a bit more camera control, but that would spoil some of the exploration. The one-shot enemy I encountered is not a one-shot if you’ve upgraded your health one bar by that point, as you can just before you get to it. That said, the checkpointing can be a bit weird. Teleporters don’t checkpoint you, for instance, so unless you go out of your way to find an actual checkpoint, you can find yourself respawning, only to have to take a teleporter straight away. Also, the map isn’t particularly helpful, being both cryptic and not really showing you how to get from one place to another. Overall, though, highly recommended if you want a beautiful Zelda-lite.


When this game is compared to Zelda, which Zelda game does it resemble most?


After @rhamorim mentioned this in another thread I took a closer look. Looks pretty nice! I know that it’s not really the same type of game as Ori and the Blind Forest, but for some reason the exploration and combat give me a similar feeling (from the official videos). Hob looks like it has more puzzily things in it.

Is this a fair view of it, or is is that far off base?


I wouldn’t want to oversell the Zelda comparison. When I say Zelda-lite, I mean lite. It doesn’t have the range of gadgets that Zelda does, or quests, and the combat is pretty loose.

As for Ori, it’s not all that similar. There’s not a lot in the way of precision platforming (at least so far), and the puzzles are pretty straightforward. But it does share that Metroidvania heritage, I guess. It’s closer to Ori than to Torchlight, I suppose.


MAP i saw posted on neogaf.

Hob Map



Ah, I didn’t notice that you said “lite” as opposed to “like” (although the latter seems to be included in the former). Anyway, yours isn’t the only Zelda reference I’ve seen, and I’m not trying to challenge those comparisons. I’m really curious about the pedigree of the game and because the Zelda games I’m most familiar with are the NES ones, I wanted to know which era of games presented something like this–Wind Waker? Ocarina? Or is it just in the sense that any action-adventure game with as much exploration as fighting ties back to Zelda? Hm…


Wow, finished it!

It’s real good, and I’m sure will end up among my favorite of the year. Still can’t shake the feeling that there was an utter masterpiece inside this thing that just didn’t come to fruition. But this does so many things well that I’ll still remember it fondly.


Updated version of that map with a couple other things (including the sword pieces I couldn’t find:

Hob Map


So I’m quite enjoying this game, but am having performance issues. I shouldn’t be having performance issues on a game like this - I’m running on a 1080 with an overclocked CPU and tons of RAM. Maybe it’s due to bad performance in ultra-widescreen? Anyone else having issues? It gets very stuttery as I’m running around. No issues with other games.


It’s a known bug in the game affecting some 1070 and 1080 users. Apparently Runic are working on a patch to fix it