Review: Murasaki Baby
Murasaki Baby sits somewhere in the middle between creepy and cute. Set in a world of children’s fantasy and fear, a dreams-cape that looks like it was taken from the mind of Tim Burton, a little girl is lost and wants only to find her mommy. Using only the Vita’s front and back-touch you’ll need to guide and protect the girl throughout a variety of locations. In the two hours it took to complete Murasaki Baby I found myself captivated by its truly bizarre world and thoroughly enjoying every moment.
Much like Tearaway before it, Murasaki Baby makes great use out of the Vita’s capabilities. You’ll use the front screen to guide the girl and protect her balloon from danger. The back touch is used to change the environment’s backdrop which, when you tap the back of the Vita, triggers specific events. Throughout each of the game’s four chapters you’ll be presented with a variety of ways to progress and solve puzzles. The game is constantly introducing new ways to manipulate the world and new characters to interact with. For instance early in the game you’re able to cause a rain storm that fills an area with water. You can guide girl inside a small boat, switch backgrounds, and cause a gust of wind to send the boat sailing across the small lake. There are numerous types of simple puzzles like this one that you’ll find throughout the game. Each just as unique and interesting as the rest.
Despite how it looks Murasaki Baby is somehow able to capture some rather heart-warming moments. As the girl’s caretaker through this journey it feels good to see her overcome fears and even make friends along the way. In some capacity I wonder if perhaps there was an intention to make the player feel like a parent. In the way that a child may be afraid of what hides in the closet and thus it’s your job to show that there’s nothing to be scared of. Murasaki Baby reflects that as your guidance helps the girl face her fears and satisfy her curiosity.
In the third chapter (of four) I experienced a save bug that will likely annoy some players. Every few minutes a Vita error message would appear stating that the game couldn’t save. Simply clicking OK allowed me to continue playing, but for whatever reason this continued to happen throughout the entirety of the third chapter. It did stop, but with chapters lasting around twenty-five minutes I have to imagine that it’ll really bother some players. Personally, it’s a small blemish on what is otherwise a great game.
I hope Murasaki Baby gets the attention that it deserves. It’s a great puzzle game that leads you on a trip through some sort of Courage the Cowardly Dog fever dream. Murasaki Baby creatively shows what makes the Vita unique and at its end feels complete. This might not be something that I go back to often, but it’s left me satisfied in a way that not many games do.
A copy of this game was purchased for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here.
What I Like:
- Creative use of Vita capabilities
- I love the art and changing backdrops
- Plenty of variety in locations and gameplay
- At just under 2 hours the length feels 'just right'
- Hard not to smile at the interactions between the girl and the characters she meets
What I Dislike:
- Issue where an error message popped up multiple times during a section of the game