vookatos's Baba Is You (PC) review

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Baba Is Best

I'm under the opinion that puzzle games can be as close to perfect, as video games can be. They are often simplistic enough to revolve around few central mechanics and ideas, which are way easier to polish than many of the genre-bending games we often see today.

Baba Is You might look deceptively simple. After games like Portal or Talos Principle, it's easy to dismiss Baba as some sort of short game ported from a mobile device. I've almost made that mistake myself, and only after hearing some glowing praise in a few places I've decided to check it out.

Definitely glad I did. Baba is You is a masterpiece. Simple visuals hide some of the most complex, yet intuitive, mechanics I've ever seen in a game.

It starts out simple. The game looks like a block-pushing puzzle, and it is, in a way. One of the first things it teaches you is that Rocks can be Pushed. However, the text that states that rule isn't immune from your interations. That's the central mechanic here. You can push not only predetermined things, but also blocks with rules written on them. Do you want to go through walls? No problem, just push any word from Wall Is Stop out of the way! Want to mix up the win condition? Move "Is Win" to a noun, and it becomes the end goal!

Of course, puzzle game about freely changing the rules would be uite boring, so soon you'll find yourself on fields where some rules are predetermined. There are still rule blocks, but they're usually tucked in a corner or behind a wall where you can't reach them. Or maybe you actually can? Each level is different, after all. Each level feels unique and fresh, and clearing any one of them makes you feel like a genius.

All the concepts of the game feel absolutely incredible, which is great, because game does become really challenging after a while. Thankfully, completing every level isn't mandatory, and you only need some to unlock path to the next zone. The zones all feel unique, and each features its own color scheme and music, along with a few new objects, words and rules. It's a small thing, but things definitely feel more varied when you go from lake zone with its jellyfish and crabs, to a volcano, full of bats and lava. While the game doesn't really abandon its word blocks, some zones definitely focus on some more than others, which makes areas feel different from each other mechanically.

Baba is You is a masterclass of puzzle design, but the game is also just damn charming. Levels feature cute names that helps you remember them, sprites are all incredibly cute, and, as weird as it sounds, the game is quite funny. It's weird to say that about a game with barely any writing and no story, but quite a few levels feature clever and unexpected solutions that are pretty hilarious to look at, or even rules that barely do anything. It would be a spoiler to list most of them, but the moment I fell in love with the game was an early level featured in trailers, that has a little poem made from rules. "Rose Is Red, Violet Is Blue, Flag Is Win, Baba Is You".

Talking about video games is always subjective, but if you ask me what games I would consider perfect, Baba Is You would definitely be among them.

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