This week sees the release of one of my most anticipated games of the year and I wanted to take a second to make sure it’s on everyone’s radar. It’s called Baba is You and it’s… different. You play as a rabbit (or a wall, door, or key) and try to make it to the exit which is sometimes a door and sometimes anything else in the level.
The core conceit of Baba is You comes from changing the definitions of objects in the world. This is done by switching or otherwise modifying large X is Y statements in the world. This means Baba is you, but once you move things around the new rules for the level can be rock is you, door is you, or water is goal. It’s this initially simple mechanic which makes this a radically different kind of puzzle game.
But you may have heard of Baba is You before. Before its launch this week, there was a Baba is You jam game which remains a great way to try the game before buying it. The X is Y mechanic is still present but it lacks a lot of the polish and thoughtfulness of the full release. Or maybe you’re not plugged into the jam scene and heard about Baba is You from its 4 nominations and pair of wins at the IGF last year. Yeah, this game is good enough to win not one, but two of the highest prizes in indie gaming.
It might seem a bit strange to dedicate an entire post on the itch.io Blog to just one game, but Baba is You feels like something genuinely special. There’s a magic inside of it that implies something new is coming. It’s a smart puzzler that I would love to see become the template for a new branch of the puzzle genre going forward.
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