Proudly presents…

Tobu Tobu Girl” Review

with ♥ from Froge

Release date:
Developers: Tangram Games
Licence: MIT & CC BY.

Verdict: 4/5 stars. It’s as good as it’ll ever be, though makes me look like a filthy casual who can’t even finish this game about a girl and her cat. The Cat Girl, as it were.


This game is the lying, scumbag, bold – faced shit – eating garbage fire of my soul, tormenting me with its smug, arrogant, and masochistic existence, biting at my heart with every second, at every inopportune moment, that I allow it to exist as a part of my own existence.

Yes, I would like to clarify that statement.

Tobu Tobu Girl is a damn good – looking, extremely well – put together, and professional as all hell homebrew Game Boy game — yes, a Game Boy game, one you can play on an actual Game Boy — that sets the standard for games on that platform over twenty – five years after it was first released way back in 1989. The download package comes with as many extra goods as you could want out of a game, including a cartridge sticker file, a template for a fold – up box, an instruction manual (with notes!), and also the “” file, which you can throw into Gambatte or something. The official website even has CSS animations! Yes, CSS animations!

Naturally this game is evil and it was made by the fucking devil. Specifically that cool – looking one from The Simpsons, with the janky early – 90s made – for – TV fire effects. Those were swish back then!

Loss of Innocence

This game is a simple one, coming from a simpler time, specifically December 03, 2017. It is therefore one that is simple to describe, and is the worst type of game to review because I will run through all the basic mechanics and what the game looks like and what extras it features — all stuff you could have figured out by looking at the box art — and we will learn nothing at all despite what you could find out by just downloading the game and playing through the twenty minutes or so it takes to see everything the game has to offer. In fact, the title sums it all up: Tobu Tobu Girl. I have no idea what it means, and I have no idea how to review it. Hey, we’re making progress!

I suppose to sum up the slip – shod plot that all handheld games back in the 1990s had to throw in the manual in order to preserve the game portion of the cartridge, you are a young lady whose questionable age makes the absolute territory on her black thigh – highs and miniskirt all the more unsettling, and while walking your cat tied to a balloon held by a string (as one does), you trip and fall, making your cat float to the Great Beyond, and now you have to use the power of anime to get that furbait back, although by the time it’s in space it would probably have died of exposure. You monster.

So you have to partake in the game portion of this Game Boy game, or else there would just be Boy, which would be very convenient for the men of the world but would mean there wouldn’t be any women to systemically oppress and we’d have to move on to the Gay Menace. You — and by which I mean the nice anime girl over here, because you will never be an anime girl let alone move out of your mother’s basement — must now partake in the developer’s cruel fantasies, and hop, skip, and jump (also dash. and fly. and cry) your way to the very top of each level, before getting your ass beat at every opportunity because this game doesn’t fuck around. Now let me explain why.

Wait! I was innocent all along!

The fundamental game works like this: you have one health point, you have to get to the top, there are enemies everywhere, you have three air dashes, you have to bounce on enemies to get those dashes back, but you also have a fly move, which you can stomp on enemies, which is like a bounce only dashing down, to be able to fly more, and each enemy moves different and bounces for different heights, plus there are enemies you can’t touch (you cannot!), and you have to do all this on a time limit shorter than the average pull – out procedure with all the bonus time blocked off by BIRDS. This joke about pulling out was blatantly ripped – off from the Zero Punctuation Super Mario 3D World review, a game which is in no uncertain terms a gigantic clusterfuck, yet compared to Tobu Tobu Girl looks like Barney’s Hide & Seek.

The gameplay is pitch – perfect. Its graphics are coy and cutesy but never gets in the way of the game, making it easy to read the screen even in the fastest and tightest of scenarios. The game blends together into a series of easily – understandable shapes and silhouettes which makes it easy to speedrun, and yet the reaction times required are so nutty that I have mad respect for anyone who manages to do so. Every mechanic in this game has been sharpened to a mirror polish to make it one of the most difficult, most skill – intensive video games you will ever play in your putrid little life.

The game does not take hostages, it refuses to back down to anyone who does not have the prerequisite skill to handle its firm – but – fair difficulty curve of easy, medium, hard, and holy – absolute – fuck – what – is – this – shit – even – what – the – fuck, and demands the best, the most precise, and the most gifted gamers that the world has ever given birth to in order to complete its demonic tasks on the first try — and you must complete them on the first try, because if you don’t, you’re going to break down crying about how your life has gotten fucking shat on by this fucking meme game.

This game clearly had so much detail, care, and talent put into it that I am blown away that a game like this could even be released in the modern age, let alone ever, and I have nothing but respect for the development team that even the music of all things — and if you know me, you know that I don’t give a fuck about the music — has some of the catchiest renditions to ever come out of the system’s paltry sound system, and the sound design is just as intuitive. It is a testament to the skills that games developers can display if they but have the opportunity, having made a masterpiece given the limited resources they’ve had to work with, and all of this is because of its deliberate simplicity, and not in spite of what lesser creators would have considered impractical, impossible, and irresponsible limitations to work with.

It’s so short, it’s so sweet, it is complete fucking evil, but every time you fuck up, it is entirely your fault. That is the sign of a great game: a game that will beat your head in, kidnap you, and hold your balls hostage until you prove you’re enough of a man to liberate it from its iron shackles, at which point you will have developed a level of respect earned only by demigods of Greek mythos, and have proved yourself worthy of having lived your life on this here Earth. And once you finally do break through that wall, once you finally get your revenge against this son – of – a – bitch, you’ll want to go through it all again and show off, once and for all, that you are not a man to be fucked with.

This game is one of the greatest of our time. There is no God, but… man. Seeing you out there? You make me think there’s something special in our universe after all. Thank you, Barney’s Hide & Seek. Thank you for opening an old man’s jaded eyes to beauty once again.


Oh, and Tobu Tobu Girl, too. I was only slightly exaggerating it’s quality; I’m still jaded and I’m not allowed to cry because my eyeballs might be corrupted and my immune system will annihilate them causing me to never see the wonders of the world again. But given this is the same universe that invented the Nae Nae, I think being blind would be a plus all things considered.

This game may not be, strictly speaking, the most fun Game Boy game out there. I certainly wouldn’t consider it something I play in order to relax; even the expert stages of Cuphead are more relaxing, and this game makes Cuphead look like Dumbshit. I would consider Tobu Tobu Girl to be engaging, in that it’s something you might engage someone to play for a mystery games tournament and see how many hours it takes them to get past the Dream stage before being disqualified for being bad at video games. Also if you were expecting me to review Cuphead today, bugger off. To the Dickhead developers: no Tux, no Bux! Come back with a Linux port and I’ll look over Thicchead. Yeah, I’ll look it over, alright.

May I remark that the Game Boy was invented before cars with electric – controlled windows? We developed hand – held pocket – sized all – in – one integrated computers with the sole purpose of providing entertainment to a bored populace, at a cost of just $90… before we invented automatic windows. Humanity continues to amaze me in the most mundane ways.

So, yeah. Tobu Tobu Girl. It’s good. What, are you expecting another 10,000 word review?