Where do I even start with Hempuli’s Baba Is You? Well, I guess I could start by saying this is the latest in a VERY long list of games that I’ve known via word of mouth are incredible games, but that I have never actually tried myself due to them not being on mobile which is where I play most of my games. So yeah, I’ve been hearing how great Baba Is You is for two years now, but I didn’t actually experience it for myself until its surprise drop on mobile this week. And as is often the case in situations like this, I am savagely kicking myself for not making the effort to try this one sooner. This game is the absolute definition of brilliant.
That presents a problem, though. Baba Is You is so brilliant and so unique that explaining what it is kind of ruins the fun. I could tell you that this is a block-sliding puzzler because mechanically, for the most part, that’s what it is. But that alone sounds boring and does not do the game justice in the least. I could tell you that it’s a puzzle game that deals with operators like “is” or “and” in a somewhat similar fashion to programming-based games, and couples that with objects and verbs to make a number of different kinds of actions possible, but all that sounds even MORE boring than before.
What I can tell you about Baba Is You is that it will challenge everything you think you know about the rules of video games. It frequently makes you think outside the box, or even rearrange that box into an entirely different shape, or, like, set fire to that box and dance around it shouting “anarchy!” It is the kind of game that when you figure out a solution and what the game expects you to do you find yourself beaming from ear to ear and marveling at just how ingenious and unexpected that all was. And it does that do you over and over and over again. I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it.
I’m not sure how else I can tell you to play Baba Is You without actually telling you in detail what the game is. It’s best experienced firsthand and with very little preconceived notions. Even though this is technically a puzzle game, even if you don’t like puzzlers, you should play Baba Is You. Seriously it is that good, and this new mobile version feels very mobile-native with excellent swipe controls and a slick UI. If I didn’t have, like, kids and a mortgage and need to eat and stuff, I’d offer to buy it for anyone who asked. If that’s not a ringing endorsement then I don’t know what is. Play this.