A charming, wonderful game. But...
Here there be spoilers.
The best thing about Ib
is the story.
The worst thing about Ib
is the morality system.
The characters are lovable. Ib's a sweet, determined child who puts on a brave face no matter how upset she is. Garry acts realistically frightened of the gallery but will step up for Ib's sake no matter the danger to himself or his fear. And Mary is a lonely little girl who's hopeful to find friendship and happiness that she's been denied for so long. They all need hugs badly. The Relationship Values
bring a good amount of depth to them also; how close you are to Garry or Mary influences your ending, and makes you care about all the characters even more.
Aside from the "Ib All Alone" endings which don't resolve anything, all the story paths feel complete enough, with "Promise of Reunion" being heartwarming, "A Painting's Demise" being terrifying and a Tear Jerker
, and all the other endings being somewhere in between. Part of the thrill of the game is going through and finding all the different endings, and note how a couple endings only have one slight difference in your actions that led to the different outcome.
The system the game uses that triggers the different endings is...inconsistent. Kick over a mannequin, bad. Knock one off the table, required. Smash creepy dolls, bad. Tear them up, required. There's also setting Mary on fire. Granted, in her case she's attacking you so it can be considered self-defense, but the problem is that while you can leave her be if Garry died, if Garry didn't die you're forced to confront Mary (Garry insists on checking that room.) It's out of character for Garry. Normally Garry's the one going "No Ib let's not go that way/Ib don't touch that that's dangerous/Ib why did you wander off by yourself" etc. If anything Ib would be the one wanting to explore a walled-off room, not Garry. It seems like an artificial way to force that either Garry or Mary has to die.
So in an otherwise wonderful game with wonderful characters and story, the biggest low point is that the game condemns you for violent actions and makes you be as nonviolent as possible to get the best ending...and yet at several points you are forced to be violent anyway to simply proceed.
Aside from that?
Play your heart out of this game, because in every other way it's beautiful.