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.
Damn, Version 1.04... you're awesome
I was a little dubious at first about an update to Ib. I was thinking 'Oh no! What if the changes are bad?'. Let me tell you... they are not. For starters, the newer endings are fantastic, one showing how very very off the deep end Mary can go and the other showing her in a surprisingly sympathetic light. I'm not going to spoil, because it's certainly better to play it for yourself to see the new endings, as well as the little changes made to the general game throughout... it's certainly an improvement on the original, and the original was damn good as it was, too.
I love this game.
Okay, now, I'm not a fan of horror- I scare easily and in general avoid the genre. I started playing Ib because the plot appeared interesting, and... Oh man, I adore this game. It's utterly terrifying at first, and there are a handful of jump scares. Most of the games creepy-factor come from things that are just off and weird. When the plot gets rolling you just have to keep playing- fortunately, this game is pretty short. However, it's near-guaranteed that there will at least be one puzzle that stumps you. Some of them are pretty clever, but it relies on investigating everything multiple times, so the process of solving a puzzle may get tedious. The soundtrack is lovely; the title screen tune is pretty and haunting, Garry's theme can get just plain heartbreaking, and the noises while exploring some parts of the gallery... Woah. Do not play this game at night, folks. Do play this game with headphones, though. One of the best things about Ib is the characters. After even one playthrough, they become so lifelike in your mind- Garry, Mary, even the mostly-silent protagonist Ib. You will get emotionally invested in at least one character throughout the game. The multiple endings encourages playing through this game at least more than once, and there are a few things you'll find in your second, third, fourth, etc. playthrough you missed the first time! Even if you don't like horror, I really recommend playing this game. It's short- maybe only a couple hours long if you don't get too stuck on a puzzle. It's got great characters, the soundtrack is awesome... The endings will rip out your heartstrings and stomp on them. Even the "antagonist" of sorts is such a sympathetic character. Just give it a go- and take a peek at the gorgeous fanart too when you're done!
An interesting tale
First off, I would like to get my biased opinion out of the way. This is an awesome game with awesome characters and I love it so much, despite it being a horror and I don't like horror. Now for a more professional opinion. The plot line is rather interesting, though it's never explained why everything in the gallery is happening. The characters are actually well thought out, however you don't get to hear more bout Garry (Though that may just be because of the Let's Play this troper watched). I actually think it was a nice touch that Ib doesn't know a few words in the paintings, as this adds to the fact that she is a child with that sort of mentality. There are quite a few jump scares here and there, though evenly spaced out, to add to the effect, which one would expect from a jump scare. The only downside I think is that Ib can die too easily. I understand that she's a child, but wouldn't it be more fair to give her more life. And, in the bad endings, even with more petals on his rose, Garry dies so easily. Though once again, this comes from the Let's Play I watched, where the Let's Player only played it once and thus only got one ending, which I'm assuming, turned out to be a bad ending. All in all, it is a well thought out game, with good graphics and fleshed out characters.