The Average Gamer

Murasaki Baby Review (PS Vita)

Murasaki Baby Logo
Following the journey of a disturbing-yet-adorable child who just wants her Mommy, Murasaki Baby is creepy and wonderful. It’s also very short. I completed the game in roughly two hours.

Based on a demo from last year’s gamescom, I said that the game would be heartbreaker. That’s not entirely true, though it does have its “aww, cute” moments. You take Baby by the hand through a series of landscapes where she meets other lost children along the way.

It’s a series of vignettes, each child offering a new set of challenges to reach the door on the other side. As you meet a child, you’ll earn a backdrop to the world that will give you an ability and affect Baby’s mood. One will expose new pathways that you can use, while others will distract a certain type of enemy or change the weather.

As a puzzle game, Murasaki Baby does a wonderful job of teaching. There are four distinct stages, each building upon the lessons learned in the previous. Baby’s heart is a balloon that she carries wherever she goes. You need to protect her heart-balloon from the dangers of the world by avoiding sharp things and ensuring she doesn’t let it fly away. She does a perfectly good job of protecting her body by flat-out refusing to do things that scare her. Try dragging her across a pit with a tentacle flailing out of it and you have no chance. Instead, you swipe the rear touchpad to find a backdrop that will scare it off. As the game goes on you find yourself combining these backdrops to do multiple things in quick succession.

Murasaki Baby - Friend

You generally can’t switch between more than four in any one stage. It’s not difficult to work out what to do yet still so satisfying when things fall into place. Since Baby won’t go where she doesn’t want to, much of the challenge lies in executing the right combination of backdrops. Later stages will have you rapidly swiping the rear pad and flipping the Vita over, so it’s not the kind of game you can safely play on the bus.

Frustratingly, I found that Baby sometimes wouldn’t respond at all when I tried to grab her hand. In other places, the Vita touch sensitivity simply wasnt fast enough – I’d grab at the right spot but it wouldn’t register and move the object in time to save her.

Murasaki Baby Photo - Fingers.Most annoyingly of all, if you want Baby to run instead of shuffling along at snail’s pace, you need to put your hands smack over the centre of the screen. I absolutely love the game’s art style but when playing, it looks more like the photo on the right

I very much enjoyed adventuring with Murasaki Baby, despite having to peer around my fat fingers the entire time. The entire quirky world is brought to life by some incredible character animation and it’s difficult not to feel for Baby on her quest. This is a wonderful, simple game that credits you with the intelligence to work things out for yourself. Short, sweet and poignant.

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