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Review: Murasaki Baby

by onFebruary 13, 2015
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Is Is Ovosonico is a young Italian studio, but its founders and other members of the team have already proved their talent in different gaming studios before coming together in a beautiful villa, quietly perched on the edge of Lake Varese, near Milan. Their first project, Murasaki Baby, fueled by Sony XDev’s backing, landed back in September exclusively on the PlayStation Vita. Praised for its artistic touch, strange mood and fully touch control Murasaki Baby didn’t have enough to leave a lasting impression.

Awakened in the night by strange noises, a baby girl with a disrupted face calls for her mother. Since the parent does not show up, you are responsible for guiding the small one by the hand, by putting your finger more or less close to it on the touch screen. The other key touch feature is to protect her purple heart-shaped balloon, which is the meter of her health, and a checkpoint reload if it bursts. And in the twisted world of Murasaki Baby, remembering Tim Burton’s creations, there is a lot of ominous things for kids and balloons. Winged safety pins, Cyclops spiders stashed in burrows, or even giant rabbits, among other examples, will try to hurt you. Even other children we will meet behind the great doors of the adventure have always something disturbing behind their laughter and their adorable expressions.

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The backgrounds in the game depict various phobias, with the ability to change the background with a simple swipe of two finger on the back of the Vita.The point of this maneuver is not a cosmetic one: every alternate background add changes to gameplay, such as turning your balloon into a rock to not get blown away by a gusty wind. Now, to avoid having to juggle too much at the time, developers associated a number set to each different “levels”; though, the most complex situations demand only four alternating skills to be resolved without the need of superhuman reflexes. However, the intensive use of two touch surfaces of the Vita coupled with that of the gyroscope is sometimes frustrating as ingenious.

Overall, Murasaki Baby does avoid excessive repetition and emphasize on smart touch controls, with quirky sound effects and a great art, but also leaves an unpleasant impression when it comes to gameplay ideas. Instead of spending two to three hours rich in emotions or even go through head-scratching puzzles, Murasaki Baby feels more like “wasting time” on some challenging tasks, lacking the priceless eureka moments which I loved in Escape Plan.

Murasaki Baby was reviewed using a PlayStation Vita copy of the game purchased by the reviewer. We don’t discuss review scores with publishers or developers prior to the review being published.

What we liked

• The universe tortured at will
• Cool gameplay ideas
• DA and extraordinary BO

What is not fun

• Quite laborious checks
• A simplistic progression
• Quickly curly quickly forgotten

Editor Rating
 
Concept
7.0

 
Graphics
8.0

 
Sound
9.0

 
Playability
6.0

 
Entertainment
6.5

 
Replay Value
3.0

Final Score
6.6


Our final verdict
 

Back in the days, Escape Plan was the perfect launch to restart the hype of touch games on the PlayStation Vita, and Murasaki Baby might be the only title that close to its concept. Despite good intentions and an eye-catching visual style, Ovosonico's baby is as immature in handling as it is in construction. This is not to say that there is nothing interesting to learn, especially if you have a flair for catchy songs, but the effort should've been pushed into something bigger and more ambitious.

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