7 min read

The Curator who Hates Godot

Let's take a look at maybe the most prolific reviewer on Steam: "Obey The Fist", and his personal crusade for the sake of Pc gaming.
The Curator who Hates Godot
Photo by Andre Hunter / Unsplash

A few months ago a couple of reviews (#1 and #2 ) made the rounds in the Godot subreddit, and they were fascinating:

You can imagine the comments on these posts.

And so, the legend of Obey The Fist was born

Why didn't I mention him before? after all, this was months ago

I wasn't planning on writing about this guy for two main reasons: first, I don't think that there's a lot to gain in talking about someone as ridiculously negative as this person appears to be (just who the hell hates game engines!?). And Second, because there's a genuine possibility of him having some sort of mental health issue.

So, taking the second point into consideration, I'm going to do my best to avoid insulting this person or making assumptions about his personal character. I'm gonna stick to the reviews as much as possible, and focus on the hilariously ridiculous world he lives in.

Also, as I said before, this guy's username is "Obey the fist", an Invader Zim's reference. I don't like the idea of typing all of that every time, so I'm calling him Obi from here on out (and yeah, I'm pretty much just assuming he is a he because...well....yeah).

Obi's history

Obi's first review was published during The Before Time, November 2014, and it already contained all the elements that would make him infamous in years to come: The game (Blood Knights) was "Not Recommended", with less than 20 minutes played at the time of the review, and it includes this fantastic line:

PC gamers are accustomed to finer things than this. - Obi, 2014

This is so similar to the large majority of his reviews (almost 6,000 of them!) that you could even call it a boilerplate. Play for a few minutes, dislike it, and defend PC gaming.

But in the beginning, he took it slowly. Only 3 reviews in 2014, then 29 in 2015, and 189 in 2016.

Those are still a lot of reviews for a normal Steam user, but Obi was on a mission. His dreams were simply bigger than those of you and me.

In 2017 he wrote 321 reviews.

In 2018 and 2019, 792 and 727 respectively

In 2020, at almost 4 per day, he wrote 1,344 reviews.

And until the 16th of December of 2021, he had published 2,439 reviews. That's more than 41.7% of all his reviews in just one year-ish.

And that was until yesterday in the morning (for me). This madman published 7 more reviews since then!.

Obi's playtime

Obi has spent a lot of time playing the games he has reviewed. In any given game, for the most part, he has only played a few minutes before slamming the review, but a few outliers do exist: The average playtime for his "Not Recommended" games is 3.5 hours.

He gave a "Not Recommended" review to 3,451 games after playing them for less than an hour. He played an additional 2,213 "Not Recommended" games for more than an hour.

The total amount of time he has played these not recommended games? I checked a couple of times to make sure I wasn't messing something up:

19,944.7 hours

I'm not kidding.

He has played almost 20 thousand hours on 5,664 games he didn't like.

He has "only" played a measly 3,559 hours on the 180 games he did recommend

Obi and Godot

Obi has a complicated relationship with Godot.

You see, in his quest for making the world a better place for Pc gaming, he decided that, with few exceptions, anything but premium, 3D games is worthless. Pc should, in his eyes, have only games like MechWarrior Online or Shadow of Mordor. Even Terraria got hammered with a Not Recommended:

Terraria is a 2D "Minecraft" style survival/crafting game, swapping the 3D voxels in Minecraft for much lower effort 2D retro pixel graphics, which immediately makes the game much more deficient than Minecraft.

[...]Ugly retro pixel graphics are tired and overdone by lazy/talentless indie devs who can't afford to hire an artist. Moving past those, the game is just a 2D platformer in the 3D era, again, laziness is the only explanation.

Oh yeah, he hates pixel art games.

More precisely, he hates pixel art style. And thinks very poorly of 2D art styles in general.

Godot, a game engine with 3D capabilities, but mostly used for 2D games by solo developers (mostly pixel art, too) is exactly the kind of tool Obi would hate the most.

The 10 games made with Godot he has reviewed, all of them during 2021, have similar comments as the one on the images at the top of the article: "craptastic Godot game engine", "very medicore Godot Engine", etc.

It doesn't help that the games he's reviewing are very small ones or even a dev's first project.

Unity, for the most part, gets a similar (mis)treatment.

On the other hand, Unreal Engine can do no wrong. A game made with it will automatically be better in Obis eyes. If the game is bad, it's despite the engine, if it's good, it's thanks to it: "not even Unreal Engine could save it", "The graphics look good (thanks to Unreal 4)". (I literally just clicked in random Unreal reviews to find these quotes. There are 96 reviews to choose from)

You know what I think about this?

I think it shows that Obi doesn't understand how Game Engines work.

I have all (until yesterday) 5,844 reviews submitted by Obi so far, and already spent a good couple of hours just searching through them looking for anything interesting. For example, there are 1,608 reviews in which he berate a game because it uses pixel art.

He's also obsessed with the term "asset flip", even tho he doesn't seem to know what it means. In Obi's mind, free/store asset = asset flip. So far, he has accused 954 games of being asset flips.

For engines specifically, he seems like he reeeeaaaally believes that if you use Unreal, the graphics are just better. Not because you are using good 3D models/styles/etc, but because you are using Unreal.

When mentioning Godot, a few time he even called it a "Construction kit":

  • "The game was made with the awful Godot game construction kit. Using a low quality construction kit invariably results in low quality games, as Galactic Bulwark Strike demonstrates."
  • "It was made with the terrible Godot game engine/construction kit. Using a poor quality game engine invariably results in poor quality games."
  • "It was made using the godawful Godot game engine/construction kit. Using low quality construction kits results in low quality games, and there's no exception here."
  • This is unsurprising as it's been made with the godawful Godot game construction kit. Using a low quality construction kit results in low quality games.

If you wanna have a full picture of Obis way of doing things, I highly recommend reading Retro Tank Party review, and the response from the developer.

In short: The game uses Kenny's assets. The same assets used on a KidsCanCode tutorial. So he accused the developer of asset flipping.

The game is not based on the KidsCanCode tutorial (this one is multiplayer and developed partially on stream. Also, open source, so you can check the code), and the assets are all under a CC0 license. But none of that matters to Obi.

After the developer response, he goes onto blame him of just a bunch of nonsensical things:

The developer has weighed in to inform everyone they didn't read the Developer Usage Rules for Steam "partners", or they deliberately ignored the part where Valve says "Though it may be tempting, not every review needs to be responded to."

The developer admits to a potential and serious violation of the MIT open source license by charging for open source code ripped off from other developers. The lack of ethics here is cemented by the way this copyright violation was dumped into bundles like DailyIndieGame.

The developer admits to taking actions specifically aimed towards harvesting data from Steam gamers. There's no justification provided for this consumer hostile activity. My warnings remain relevant and I'll be reaching out to the copyright holders shortly.

You can see dsnopek response in the review, and I encourage you to do so, as it's a very good one, but you get the idea of what Obi is like.

I could honestly keep adding more and more things about him in here for hours.

Like how he's a member of the "Sturgeon's Law" steam group. A group that hit the curation  limit of 2,000 games, most of them Not Recommended (1917).

Or how he goes out of his way to find games he already seems to hate (2D, Pixel art, etc) but talks about objectivity.

But unlike him, I just don't have 20,000 hours to put into something I don't like, I'll just leave you with this golden nugget of a quote.

Finally, reviews are opinion. Sure, everyone has an opinion. It's true that some opinions are more qualified and more objectively developed than others, through experience, supported by fact and reason. Perhaps your opinion about a 2D iPhone ported retro pixel platformer that only runs in 480p resolution being sold to the 4K PC gaming elite will be different from mine. But people are entitled to their views, especially if those views are qualified with fact. It's my opinion that you, the PC gaming elite, deserve only the very best.

I'm not much of an expert in US personalities, so I'll end this with a question: Is Ben Shapiro a gamer?

A list of all Obi's Godot reviews:

If you have anything you want to share with the Godot development community please let me know by sending an email to contact@godotes.com