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Pain Indie Ass - Baba Is You

Pain Indie Ass - Baba Is You
- Baba Black Sheep... -
-Third Pain Indie Ass review (two and a half years later...)-

I have thus far come nowhere close to completing this game, but it's been forever and a day since I've written a review, and this is one of the most recent games I've played. For those of you who are new to my reviews, I will be looking at the gameplay, art, level design, replayability, and anything else I can be bothered to add.

Baba is You is an enjoyable game and a fucking struggle rolled into one delightful, minimalist puzzle game. The core of the game is to somehow make your way to the goal by moving your 'character', and manipulating both environment and/or 'absolute statements' within each level, the latter of which changes the rules of the level. An example of this may be a case where connected (movable) blocks state that "WALL" "IS" "STOP", and by moving any one of these blocks out of the sequence, you may suddenly find yourself able to traverse through previously impenetrable walls. Some of the puzzles can take some thinking, though, such as how to move which blocks where, and in what order, to progress.

I bought Baba Is You during the Winter Sale, just before Christmas, though I don't recall exactly when I first played it. I have played for over two hours, and thus far have a single Achievement out of eighteen available... I get the feeling this may be a while.

Art Style

Now, this one is a tough one; Baba Is You has very basic graphics. I'm by no means calling them bad, but there isn't much out currently to easily compare it to. If I had to, I would say it's vaguely reminiscent of the ZX Spectrum (is it still showing my age if the console is older than I am?). Either way, it has a way of sparking a sense of old game graphics, even if you may not be familiar with older game consoles.

Level Design

What can I say about this? The levels are all similar in size, but definitely different in terms of complexity. There may be one where it's a straight shot to the goal, or one where you have to push a single rock out of the way... Then there's one where you have to alter the rules to make something that could kill you movable, move it, then get to the goal... Then there are the frustrating bastard levels, where you have to alter the rules in a very specific way, to be able to get through something that could kill you without rendering yourself 'null' by altering the rule that says Baba Is You... As I said before, sometimes some levels can require some deep thought, if it's your first time seeing them (I went in blind specifically so I could enjoy the puzzle), and this lead me to getting stuck for a little while quite a few times.

Gameplay

believe this game is playable with a controller, though I haven't tried, and have no real intention of doing so. I find that the keyboard works perfectly for me, and am happy to stick with that method of doing things. Although in this case, things literally consists of moving around the map, and attempting to get to the goal through any means available. There's very little I can really add to this section that I've not already covered, to be honest: It's very simple in terms of what you have to do in game,  but can be very complicated in terms of what you have to do per level...

Replay Value

Replay... Is it worth replaying? That depends. The game is wonderful in its own way, and a fucking bane at the same time. It's not one you can really play idly; sometimes you have to think really hard, and others it might help to just step back a little. It's definitely worth playing, I would say, and there's a lot of potential to do better... If you can memorise, or take notes, I can't see the barrier for entry to speed running being very high. Even if you just want to improve your times for personal achievement, there's plenty of room for that too.

Overall, I'd say it has some replay value, but that depends on how you want to play it, and how frustrated you get/if you get frustrated easily. Of course, I can't say for certain because, as I said before, I'm far from even completing it, so far. Maybe I'll edit this if I do complete it, to explicitly state whether I'd ever pick it up again or not?

You May Like This Game If:

You enjoy puzzles, especially if you enjoy a variety of difficulties within the same game.
You can tolerate frustration if it takes a while to come to a solution for puzzles.
You like 'format screws', or being able to change rules on the fly.
You want something to force you to think.

Conclusion

Baba Is You is fun but frustrating, and I'd recommend anyone who does play it to be aware that they probably will get annoyed from time to time dealing with it. With that said, however, I still have to admit that I would still recommend it if you enjoy pure puzzle/logic games. It will make you think (or cheat by looking up a walkthrough), but it's not a bad game at all. I'd suggest anyone to at least check out a trailer or something on Steam or YouTube, and see what you think of it from an outside perspective before actually getting it; maybe it's for you, maybe it isn't, but I can say that, at the very least, I personally enjoy this game so far.

Other Reviews
PIA1 - PIA2 - PIA 3

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