Murasaki Baby

A not-too-typical little girl awakes from her slumber looking for her mommy. With her mom nowhere in sight and in a world that seems straight out of a Tim Burton movie, the girl needs help and guidance. You are tasked to escort her through this strange world in a very unique way, and from the onset you will be intrigued by what lies behind each door.

This game is all about doing things differently; right down to the way you lead this girl from one place to the next. By using your finger to hold her hand on the front screen, you guide the little girl to each area and through each door. Pull to hard and she will take a stumble, while pulling too slow could leave you tugging her along the entire journey. It was kind of difficult to get the hang of how harsh you could be to your sidekick, but by the end you find the sweet spot to pull her along. Another twist to the gameplay was the lack of a health bar. Instead the little girl has a heart shaped balloon that she holds onto during the entire game. The balloon acts as a perfect substitute for health, tasking you with the responsibility to make sure it does not pop and to make sure it does not fly away or the little girl cries.

As you progress through the game looking for this girl’s mommy, you are confronted with other kids that also have predicaments of their own. In order to help the kids and progress to each door, you are also given other abilities in the form of different colored balloons. There are many different colored balloons, each doing different things to help you help this little girl. More so then being a power-up, these balloons act as gameplay changers in the fact that they change the mechanics of the world you are in. As the background changes from a purple landscape, to that of blue clouds or an orange windmill, you are able to use the rear touchpad in order to make it rain or to cause a wind gust. Each change in the environment can help you in one way or another, and by the end you are forced to pair some changes up in order to continue through each stage. There will be plenty of 'I got it!' moments when you finally realize which background will work to help you get through a certain puzzle.

The music is linked to what background you may have at any given point, but in all it is very dull and drab. However, rather than being at fault for having eerie and disturbing background music, this game plays to it’s core strength, which is having a dark and quirky undertone. As I said before, this game looks as if it was a Tim Burton, with a very dark, twisted art style. The little girl herself has her mouth on her forehead and some of the obstacles that help you out have eyes and mouths. The distinct art design can only get so far, but by having dark and twisted humor splattered throughout the game everything really ties in quite nicely.

The game does a great job at giving you all these different things to do with the Vita; designing puzzles to use the back touch pad, incorporating the front pad for traversing, and using tilt in order to twist up the gameplay. I would love to tell you all the balloons that you will find or the strange kids you will help, but the game is relatively short, coming in around three hours long. But this game and it’s designer know how to treat the game in terms of not overstaying it’s welcome. Murasaki Baby is a game unlike any other and anyone wanting a different non-traditional gaming experience should diffidently give it a go. Some games are all about the grind, yet others are all about telling a deep story. If the price is relative to how much you get out of this game, Murasaki Baby should have no problem finding it’s target audience.