'Murasaki Baby' Escorts You Through A World Of Nightmares
September 18, 2014
For years now, escort missions have become a common mechanic in a variety of different types of games. From Grand Theft Auto to Ico, the concept of helping someone get from point A to point B safely is not a new concept. However, a recently released Vita game takes caring for an in-game character's wellbeing to a whole new level. In Murasaki Baby the player is literally the escort, as you virtually "hold" the main character's hand throughout the entire game via the system's touchscreen. It's a unique take on an old concept, and it doesn’t look or play like anything else that you've ever picked up.
Who: Developer: Ovosonico Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
While Ovosonico might not sound familiar, since Murasaki Baby is their first release, the game's director, Massio Guarini has quite an eclectic pedigree. Having worked on twisted titles like Killer7, No More Heroes, and Shadows of the Damned, it's no wonder that Ovosonico describes themselves as "the avant-garde game studio." If Murasaki Baby is any kind of indication, players that appreciate games that color outside the lines will have more strange titles from this Italian developer to look forward to in the future.
What: Everyone gets lost at some point. In Murasaki Baby the titular character, Baby, needs some help finding her way. The core gameplay is actually quite simple: all you have to do is use your finger to pull Baby and her precious purple balloon along the screen. As you escort Baby from the left side of the level to the right side you'll encounter a wide range of different obstacles, from rock walls, to monsters, to spikes, to pits and ledges. Throughout Baby's travels she can collect an assortment of different color balloons, which can control the level's environment. Using the Vita's rear touchscreen, players can change the background of Baby's weird world to help her solve puzzles and progress safely. If you need it to rain, swipe until you get to the right color, and tap. If you need to distract a monster, swipe until you have TV screens that you can turn on with another tap. The balance of controlling Baby in the foreground using the front touch screen, and the puzzles in the background using the rear touch screen, makes for some fast and complex finger work as the game goes on.
Where: Murasaki Baby can only be found on the PlayStation Vita. Its extensive use of both the front and rear touchscreens makes it virtually impossible to play on any other platform.
Why: It's probably a safe bet to say that you haven't played a game like Murasaki Baby before. Once you get beyond the occasionally clunky touchscreen controls, Murasaki Baby offers a weird and wonderful little journey with Baby, solving puzzles and saving balloons. The combination of the unique art style and gameplay set this game apart, and make for a memorable experience. The Vita is developing quite a reputation for hosting games that shirk a lot of traditional gaming conventions, so as lost as Baby may be, Murasaki Baby is right at home on this platform.