Have you ever reminisced back to what nightmares as a toddler were like? Have you ever wished that your mouth was on your forehead? Yes? Well, you’re in luck then, because here’s Murasaki Baby!
When Murasaki Baby originally came out I was a bit interested in it, though I decided to give it a pass for the time being. That decision proved to pay off when the game was added to PS+ for May 2015. And so now I present to you one of the creepiest puzzle games I’ve played on Vita!
You control a mysterious baby who wakes up crying for its mommy. Unfortunately, all you have is your balloon. You decide to set off in hopes of finding her and meet a variety of perils along the way. Who knew that being a toddler was THIS dangerous?
The premise is simple – you, the player, must guide this baby through this levels. When I say guide, I mean literally. Murasaki Baby is a touch-only game. You must use your finger to drag this baby through the levels. Sometimes you’ll need to tap away evil safety pins that want to burst your balloon. Oh yeah, if the balloon breaks the baby starts crying and you’re sent back to the last checkpoint. And it’s pretty easy to break it. Have fun!
One of the other main features of Murasaki Baby is the ability to change the “background”. By doing so, you gain access to different powers as the player. While one background might reveal hidden paths, another will let you turn the world around. Well, okay, I guess it isn’t touch only in that sense – there’s also the motion control for that part. As someone who frequently suffers motion sickness from this sort of thing in games (and is forced to be unable to play particular games, looking at you Gravity Rush), I wasn’t too happy when it came to the upside down part. Especially since you also have to be solving puzzles while doing so, and sometimes even need to get fairly dextrous to be able to switch and puzzle solve fast enough.
So while 99.5% touchscreen only games (with .5% being motion control) are great and all, you know what is even more fantastic? Error messages! Like say, an error message stating that your game wasn’t able to save. And hey, I heard you liked that message, here it is again. Enough though Murasaki Baby is a fairly short title, this error message will plague you for a good majority of it. Oh and did I mention that it popping up has a tendency to happen RIGHT when you need to do particular things on the screen? Which of course cancels your touch and will typically get you killed shortly after. I did a little bit of research on this error and it seems to have been “claimed” to be fixed and that it was only an issues in early review copies, it’s very clear that it was NOT fixed.
Now, another unfortunate thing about touchscreen only games? They tend to cover up gorgeous art. At least that’s the case in Murasaki Baby. While creepy, the artstyle is absolutely fantastic and fits perfectly. It’s a shame that you are typically covering it up with your finger though.
The baby also has the small issue of if you try and drag your finger “too far” you lose her hand. It also tends to be a bit finicky when it comes to actually “grabbing” her hand, and sometimes will ignore your attempts to do so. The game would have benefitted greatly from having ACTUAL controls. Which reminds me, I guess there is also a small portion of the game in which you do have actual controls. There’s a point where you need to control a baby buggy and guess what? It controls absolutely fantastically. I really do wish that this had been an option for the whole game.
So while Murasaki Baby is fairly short, it will likely test your patience. The save error is pretty extreme, and you’re basically out of luck if your game decides to crash. Luckily mine didn’t since I wouldn’t have been too keen on repeating so much of the game. Combined with that game’s touch only controls covering up the fantastic art and providing more headaches than needed it’s hard for me to suggest the game. I just feel glad that I got it as part of PS+, however, as the save error would have been even more frustrating had I paid full price for it.
Murasaki Baby Review Score