I think I’ve found the next Vita game we all need to buy. Not since Tearaway have I been so impressed with a games use of the Vitas very specific input controls. Murasaki Baby looks to be a must buy for Vita owners looking for something different to sink there time into. Eerie, cute and often clever, Murasaki Baby is an intriguing title that wasn’t fully on my radar, until now. The Rezzed demo I played was full of strong moments and just left me wanting more and more to the point that I thought you all should too.
Think of one of Boogeyman’s children from Nightmare before Christmas, and now you have an image of the protagonist here – although, less of a protagonist and more of a bystander in this crazy, crazy world. As the player, you pull Baby along the level by pulling its hand. It’s an imaginative use of the touchscreen itself, but doesn’t stop there. You also have to care for Baby’s balloon, making sure that it doesn’t fly away or pop. There are moments in Murasaki Baby where you have to use the touch-screen to control both the balloon and Baby herself. Although awkward on the Vita itself, it makes for some challenging and intriguing puzzle scenarios.
As with these touch heavy Vita games of late, the back touch is also used, to brilliant effect. There are four different moods in which you can manipulate to solve different puzzles. Within the demo I played, there was a particular focus on the hell, storm and wind moods. Switching moods is seamless, with a two finger swipe across the back. Each mood has a tool which can be activated with a tap on the back touchscreen, these tools are used to solve puzzles and scare enemies. The storm mood was used to produce a river for Baby to use a boat on, or put fires out (a small example).
Artistically, the style is eerie and very Tim Burton influenced. That creepy feeling is apparent throughout, being subtle enough that it’s not over-bearing. The creepiest aspect of the game is that I actually found some moments cute. Towards the end of the demo you find someone more of Baby’s kind, the beginning of a friendship ensues and is a sweet moment, despite their “monstrous” appearance. Both holding balloons and heading through a door to end the demo was such a delightfully sweet moment, that I was surprised it occurred in the setting of the game. There are other moments where Baby shows great excitement or fear and those emotions are well shown through the animations and design. You can feel the tension with her movement. Her sometimes uneasy feeling is shown as you try and pull her along the screen, making sure she (along with her balloon), is safe.
Murasaki Baby is certainly an interesting experience, it’s far different to anything I have played in a long time. It’s dark and creepy premise, matched with the strong control scheme (similar to the unique use in Tearaway), make this a great Vita experience. If the demo is anything to go by, the full game will be full of difficult yet fulfilling puzzles, and a sense of cuteness, in an otherwise dark and eerie setting. Colour me interested.
Murasaki Baby has no solid release date, but we’ll be sure to keep you updated if there is any development on the release date.