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Obey the Game

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Rating: 3.8/5 (246 votes)
Comments (31) | Views (10,766)
joyejoye_obey_screen1.jpgWhat happens when jmtb02's series of elephant games and his four second series love each other very, very much? The adorable neon-colored baby Obey the Game, and you can really see the family resemblance. Awww, he's got his dad's plucky elephant protagonist and his mom's rapid-fire gameplay! And who has the chubbiest little cheeks? You do! You do!

Use the [WASD] or [arrow] keys to control your elephantine avatar through a number of quick mini-games, some of which hearken back to earlier elephant games. You may receive the instruction to save your girl, to climb some stairs, or even to kill yourself.

But not so fast. Sometimes the game will flash the text "DISOBEY" at you just after a level begins. When it does that, you've gotta do the opposite of what you'd normally do. Reject your girl, eschew the stairs, and cling to your will to live, for example.

Once you get the hang of that, you can unlock four more modes, including a blind mode where the screen goes dark just after starting, and a reverse mode where you must obey when it says disobey. Human sacrifice, elephants and spikes living together, mass hysteria!

Analysis: Obey the Game has the same kind of clinky arcade sounds and high energy techno soundtrack as its predecessors, which perfectly suits the flat, prismatic graphics. It's a world that, frankly, feels fun to mess around in.

A design flaw in the game, however, is that it doesn't really need you to mess around in it. I started a game and played to level 40, then let the game continue by itself. The game went all the way to level 253 before the elephant ran out of lives.

As the game keeps speeding up, in fact, fewer and fewer minigames become winnable if the wrong category of obey or disobey is ordered. The fan level, for example—by I think about level 90, it is literally impossible not to get sucked into the fan. Even if you are holding down on the right arrow key as the level comes up, you will still get sucked into the fan. So if that level comes up on "OBEY", you cannot win, and if it comes up on "DISOBEY", you cannot lose.

Another downside is the lack of mute and pause once you are in a game. There is a pause of a kind in the "coffee break" levels, where the music switches to a soothing elevator music, and you can't lose—except in reverse mode, where it's an automatic loss.

Microgame collections like this one tend to encourage the player to mash buttons, any buttons, so Obey the Game really innovates in the way that it requires the player to take a moment and wait for further instructions. The temptation to hit keys the moment the game changes is often the player's worst enemy.

Update: jmtb02 has updated the game to add mute and pause, and also changed it to a life gain every 3 levels passed in a row instead of every level passed. This does mitigate the problem of the game playing itself, but it doesn't change the fact that at higher levels a lot of the games are either unwinnable or unloseable depending on the luck of "obey" or "disobey". However, luck is a significant factor in the minigame genre anyway.

Don't play Obey the Game. DISOBEY!

Play Obey the Game


As cute and peppy as it is, this got boring quickly. As mentioned, you don't even need to participate for little elephant guy to survive hundreds of repetitive minigames, so why bother? It really is just luck after awhile. I like Simon Says spinoffs, and I like the other games by the same author, but...oh well.


It's OK, but this one is missing the enjoyability that his other games have. I played Normal, HidenRide, and Blind modes. But after that I just gave up. There isn't much to go back to with this one.


Yeah, fun for a few minutes but not much replay value. Another bug is on the 'Run' level in blind mode: when it goes dark you immediately stop running and get sucked into the fan, even if you're holding down the right key.

I don't think this game would have been featured here if it weren't for the jmtb02's earlier work. It's a bit like The Godfather Part III ;)

Patreon VIP Chiktionary December 10, 2009 3:12 AM

Heh! This is the first game I've played where I've had to do very little. It was fun for a while, but I don't think I have the stamina to do nothing until I find out where the game ends.


Hmmm, as fun as it started out to be there really wasn't enough variation in the tasks and as the speed got up to a point I had to leave it (as mentioned in the article) purely to see what happened when it finished and five minutes later it ended with me almost trippling my score.

jmtb02 rocks mostly but this time he just pebbles.


I've been up to level 1326 in Normal mode.
I've spend the last 30 minutes hoping I would die soon :S
The fan is random win depending on the obey/disobey but a few others become so fast that it's almost the same.

Survive the spike ball when it appears randomly at the bottom, deviler or not the paquet to a random teleporting elephant, Riding the cloud sometimes isn't possible, it would get through you.
Hide, Ditch and Block are a 50% chance. You decide beforehand if you want to do it or not and hope that you'll have to right order.


The game, while fun at first, does have one major flaw which has ensured I wont play it again, or even progress to the second stage.

I kept going in the first level, Normal Mode, and after reaching about level 550... the entire flash reset. Right back to the beginning, as though I hadn't begun yet.

It was very irritating, and even though at first the game was alright, I wont be playing it again any time soon.
jmtb02 has made some pretty great games in the past, but this bug destroys this one, in my opinion.
A game that basically punishes you, albeit unintentionally, for getting 'too far' isn't what I'd like to play :p


Horribly annoying that it's playing two pieces of music at the same time.

me again ;p December 10, 2009 9:24 AM

Nice game to keep you busy for some time but becomes boring and hard after some time. I stoped playing and let the game continue by itself and got a really high score lol. Overal nice idea. Has anyone figured a way to fail the "lunch break"? in the normal modes and to pass it in the reverse mode?


Rapidfire mode is one of the funniest things I've ever seen.


Level 550....... That's some pretty impressive patience (or boredom). I wonder how long Salrith would have gone for without this bug.


The graphics and music set up a fun atmosphere, so it's visibly jmtb's work the moment you boot it up. If nothing else, everything the man makes looks gorgeous, even if it's just a text adventure.

At high speeds, winning or losing minigames boil down to luck. "Survive" comes up, I try desperately to dodge the spikes, but fail. But, because it was "Disobey", I win and get a life anyway.

Warioware works because it has over a hundred different games, each with several variations to keep them fresh. This just lacks any novelty.



The ability to win levels without interacting lends a really bizarre aspect to the game. I did some quick calculations and found that for the Hide 'n' Ride mode the game will, on average, continue for about thirty-one levels without any player interaction. The longest run I saw went on for 231 levels. At that point it's not a game; it's a screensaver!

I did enjoy the game -- and I normally hate microgames -- but the way the game can just play itself hurts my sense of investment as a player.


Ugh. This feels like it's trying to be Four Second Elephants. Except you only get 1 second at higher levels, and 80% of the time it is a coin toss instead of a reaction.

I feel particularly cheated by the Fan level, since you don't even get to flip your own coin. Most levels I at least got to choose heads or tails (obey or disobey) before something happened to me.

I got a 15 level streak at level 500+ without touching the keyboard and decided that was enough.

While interesting for the first few minutes, this didn't grab me at ALL like jmtb02's other elephant games. There's no reason to return.


What the game needs is a "return to menu" button. Especially on the hide and run mode(or was that run and hide? I forget which), where you have a 50% chance of passing or failing each level if you sit still. Once you get up past level 50, the speed is so fast that it's very difficult to intentionally lose. So when you want to go and play the new mode you've just unlocked, it's very tedious to let the game play itself out.


It was my first try at this. I was on 150+ with full lives and a 30 wining streak, then the game quit to main menu. GRRRR!

For that, this game gets a one.


Ouch! I only get a toxic, flashing screen. Like a good gamer, I tried to push the play button between the flashes, but alas, no go. Is this game down?


The game has been updated since this review was written. It takes three wins in a row to get an extra life now, and you can pause by pressing p.


How the heck do you "Block"? It's the only game I constantly fail.


You people are missing the beauty of this! Here we are on a site celebrating "casual gameplay" and what's more casual than a game that you can simply abandon and it'll just go on playing itself!
It doesn't need you and I think you're both aware of this fact, but you tolerate each other as long as you can and then go your separate ways. And you know what? You're both fine away from each other. That's just a casual relationship. There's naught in existence that will rival such casual gameplay.


JIGuest: Dive in the way of the falling spike-ball and die before it hits the elephant under it.

I wasn't expecting something amazing, just something to pass the time, and I got what I expected. Not particularly enthralling, but hey, good for killing a few minutes while you're waiting for something. Sometimes I failed by acting when I shouldn't have, but hey, that's life. It's something to do.


Oh, darn it! I want to play the version that can go on forever! No fair. :(


pst Jmb02, make the door usable (leave coffee break) and on reverse make it so that you will pass(including if you leave.)


Got to level 222. Fun game.


Has anyone discovered a way to pass "coffee break" on reverse? Just lost my last life on it. Not the way I'd intended to go out.


I've been having trouble with the pause function. Whenever I pause the game (using "p") and attempt to resume the game, the elephant perpetually moves to the left of the screen, as if I am pressing the left arrow key.
At first I thought it was happening because I was pressing the left arrow key down when I paused, but this happens even when no keys are pressed.



how can you disobey level 'relax'?


People have asked this before. I agree that the relax level is impossible on reverse mode. I have tried banging on my keyboard, having the elephant run and jump around and have found nothing on YouTube™. How do you win? I don't know.


awesomizatedestilkiturtlesrcoolstringwaterfish!! December 26, 2009 11:05 PM

Being a bit different here, I actually quite enjoyed this game.

Yes, i agree, they should try and work on the bugs, but without them, i would really really find this game quite awesome!

It might get a tad boring after about level 75 for me.

But seriously, overall, i loved this game.
awesome!! =D

It isnt my favourite out of all of his games though.


First of all, let me point out that jmtb02 is my favourite game designer. Furthermore, his elephant games are my favourite games by him, there's just something about the games that I'm crazy for that I can't put my finger on, I think it has something about the music fitting each of his games like a glove. Although, there was something missing from this game. When I started the game, I was greeted by music that for some reason didn't seem right. I would of prefered if he used a suspenceful jazz tune. Now, I don't want to sound like a pickey bastard like most of you at home are calling me right now, it's just that I was expecting the same kind of quality match of music and game.Secondly, the game is fun for 10-15 minutes, but after that it gets boring, it has something to do with the lack of levels, I saw about 20, then the obey/disobey factor, so in total 40 unique, 5-second levels. Now. I know that occasionaly game designers mini-games that they made for fun in their spare time, so it was probably one of them.All-in-all, it's a great game if you have 5 minutes of spare time.


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