Baba is You review – an inventive delight


I guess that, underneath it all, Baba is You is a Sokoban game, one of those precise spatial challengers which are all about pushing blocks around and trying to get them into the right places. Corners and the edges of a room are the great enemies in Sokoban games, because you can only push the pieces at your disposal – cover up all the useful pushing sides and you’re toast.

But the twist here is that the things you’re often pushing around in Baba is You are words, and the words are also the rules of the level that you’re on. Take that title: Baba is You. You’ll find it on a majority of the game’s teasing, torturous challenge levels. But if you push any of those words out of neat alignment, Baba will cease to be you, and you, whoever you now are, will be screwed.

This is an idea that’s ripe with possibilities, because the words that make the level work are often the tools at your disposal – unless, of course, the words are written in the corners, which means you can’t push them around, which means, in turn, that you’ve just been given a nice clue to the parameters of the particular challenge. A simple level might hinge on simply putting the rules together to your advantage. Composing the sentence “Baba is win” by pushing the right pieces around is a nice way of achieving victory. A more complex level might feature a locked room with a crab and a victory flag in it. You could try to get through the locked door, or you could opt for “crab is you” and voila, you’re in the room with the flag and the puzzle is solved.

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