Indie / PC / Switch

Baba Is You And Baba Is Brilliant

I miss Games of the Month!!!! I’m gonna bring it back, kind of!!! Soon!

School is a lot as usual, but taking things slowly is the best I can do for now. I haven’t played as much as I would’ve liked, but we’ve still had some real killers in early 2019. First off? Baba Is Goooooooooooood.

I already called Baba is You “2017’s best puzzle game” when it was just a genius half-hour bit of puzzlecraft. Now that its ten-ish levels have grown to two-hundred-ish? Uh, you should probably toss your $15 at Arvi “Hempuli” Teikari” as soon as possible.

Part logic puzzle, part light programming, Baba Is You won’t fail to make you feel like a genius, then a complete moron, then the smartest human being who ever lived dozens of times over. You physically move the rules of the game around the screen with a Sokoban-style grid, and whatever you spell out becomes the law of the land. Push the word “Wall” away from “Wall Is Stop” and then enjoy your new ability to walk through walls. Tired of playing as Baba? Spell out “Rock Is You” instead, and live out your dreams as a rolling stone.

It’s an incredible mechanic that I’ve never seen anywhere else. It’s also a mechanic that makes so much sense as soon as you see it in motion it’s impossible not to want to try it yourself. Every person I’ve shown the game to has been able to dive right in an begin enjoying puzzles within a minute or two of figuring out what they’re looking at.

Every level in the game is either teaching you a new mechanic, or testing your knowledge of a previous one before building something brand new on top of it. If you decide the puzzles involving robots aren’t for you (I’m bad at them!), just skip onto one of the other dozen or so levels you have available at any one time. There’s a shocking amount of variety here that brings me back to my old Super Mario 3D World point: it’s never afraid to have a good idea and toss it away for another one. After several hours I’m still hitting breakthroughs with puzzles and stumbling into stunning realizations about the limits of the game. Baba Is You isn’t for everybody, but if you’re willing to really stretch your brain across some creative puzzle solving, you’ll find a lot to love.

If you want to feel like a super genius, check out Baba is You on the game’s site or on the Switch eShop.

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