Baba Is You
Baba Is You is a block pushing puzzle video game developed and published by Hempuli Oy for Linux, Macintosh, and Windows on 2019-03-13, and later for Switch, Android, and iOS. The bulk of the game was made by Arvi Teikari in Multimedia Fusion 2.
The game focuses a lot of block-pushing, so a good understanding of Sokobon will help you in the game, but it primarily focuses on using those blocks to change the rules of the game. For example, if you're trapped in a walled room with the blocks "WALL," "IS," "STOP," and you push the "STOP" block out of the way, you can then walk through the walls. The complexity of rules grows as you get further into the game. The characters Baba and Kiki are based on an interesting psychological phenomena called the Bouba/kiki effect.
I don't remember exactly how I first heard about this game or when I bought it, but, when I was browsing through my Steam library, and came across it, I remember hearing it was an idiosyncratic puzzle game, so I installed it. After playing it for only a few levels, I was hooked, and determined to beat it. I found the game's standard ending on 2021-09-14, but I have many other levels to still beat.
I own the game on Steam and beat it with 105 seeds.
Best Version: Windows
— This section contains spoilers! —
- The general idea of the game, using words to generate logical sentences which alter the game world, is very creative.
- Very few of the levels are obvious at first glance and each level has a unique trick to it. Even those levels that are similar to others (the hard-mode levels), require you to use a new trick to solve them. Pretty much every trick that you can think of has been used in a level somewhere, many require thinking outside of the box. On over a dozen levels I was just looking at the map thinking to myself, "this is completely impossible!"
- The graphics, though very primitive, are quite cute. Baba, Kiki, and the Robot, are my favorites.
- The music is nice and atmospheric, and the sound effects are fitting.
- The rewind feature is invaluable. Without it, the game would have been extremely frustrating.
- Many maps have simple hints in them which help point you in the right direction if you take the time to look for them.
- I like that you can beat the game without having to successfully finish every puzzle.
- I found the difficulty of the levels to be very sporadic. While the very first handful of levels teach you how to play, once you're beyond that, there are some very difficult levels early on in a map. I sometimes even found the hard mode levels to be easier than the regular levels.
- With over 220 levels, the game wears out its welcome. As I neared 100 completed levels I was starting to get bored with it.
- While I like that you can get to the ending early, it's a shame that you can get it really early!
- My friend Beau made a good point that I agree with. When I finished a hard level, I didn't feel proud of myself, so much as exhausted. This made the game more of a chore than a pleasure.