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-   -   Baba is You - A unique puzzle game (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=879355)

sohvan 07-25-2019 03:29 PM

Baba is You - A unique puzzle game
 
I've been enjoying a puzzle game called Baba is You a lot lately. It involves interacting with objects and text to solve puzzles. When you make a logic sentence out of the text, it changes the rules of the game. For example a level might have these words together:

Baba is You. Water is Sink. Flag is Win.
These rules means you control Baba, you sink (die) if you go in water, and you win if you get to the flag. The water is preventing you from getting to the flag, so you change some words around to the following:

Baba is You. Baba is Float. Water is Sink. Flag is Win
Now Baba is floating, so you can fly above the water and get to the flag. But there are other ways to solve it. For example:

Water is You. Baba is Win. Flag is Sink
Now you control the water, and win when you reach Baba. The water dies if it hits the flag.

The game feels very challenging but fair. Sometimes the key to a level is figuring out which rules you need to form from the words. Sometimes it's about applying the rules in the right order and circumstance. I've gotten stuck on some levels for a long time. When I finally got it I felt both elated and often a little sheepish at having missed something so obvious.

borschevsky 07-25-2019 07:16 PM

Yeah, itís a really great idea for a game. Iím stuck somewhere around halfway through (I think), and I havenít played for a while. It requires a bit of concentration and brainpower, and lately Iíve been playing more mindless stuff. But itís great.

Chronos 07-25-2019 07:45 PM

What happens if you make "Win is You"?

Kobal2 07-25-2019 08:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chronos (Post 21770629)
What happens if you make "Win is You"?


You lose I think (since you don't control any piece of the board any more). Baba is Win doesn't work either (since at that point Baba isn't You, but you don't lose because you can then use whatever is You to touch Baba and win).

sohvan 07-26-2019 12:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kobal2 (Post 21770675)
You lose I think (since you don't control any piece of the board any more). Baba is Win doesn't work either (since at that point Baba isn't You, but you don't lose because you can then use whatever is You to touch Baba and win).

That's true. Each word has a logic to it, which you learn while solving puzzles. In this case Win means something like "when the piece that is you is on the same square as a piece that is win, you win the level." You can make the words "Baba is You And Win", though. Then you win the level regardless of the rest of the game state.

Mithras 07-26-2019 05:42 AM

Or you can have"Baba is you" going horizontally and "Baba is win" going vertically starting from the same"Baba".

Baba is you is the best puzzle game I've played in several years. And it has way more puzzles than good puzzle games typically seem to have.

One point that isn't that obvious from the description: it sounds a lot more open than it is. What I mean is, one might think that there would be many ways to rearrange the words to solve a puzzle. But usually beyond the intro levels, there's probably only one solution.

Inner Stickler 07-26-2019 09:09 AM

I love it because it's really a great puzzle solving game.

I hate it because it constantly reveals how thick I am.

Maserschmidt 07-26-2019 09:18 AM

I downloaded a version for iPad, but so far it just appears to be a maze-style game, no words. Did I get scammed?

ETa: Yep, looks like a scam....

sohvan 07-26-2019 11:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mithras (Post 21771063)
One point that isn't that obvious from the description: it sounds a lot more open than it is. What I mean is, one might think that there would be many ways to rearrange the words to solve a puzzle. But usually beyond the intro levels, there's probably only one solution.

That's a fair point, and that's especially true for the hardest puzzles. The intermediate puzzles did sometimes have some flexibility in solutions, though.

The limitations set on each level by the number of words, objects and ways you can interact with them are a large part of why the game works as well as it does. Sometimes you can be given a surprisingly small number of puzzle pieces to work with, but still have to wrack your brain to find the solution.

I've solved 150 puzzles so far, and the game is still often surprising me with the elegance of some of the solutions. It's a sign of a good puzzle game when figuring it out makes you think "how could I have possibly missed that" instead of "How was I supposed to know that?"

enalzi 07-26-2019 12:03 PM

Looks like it's also available on Switch, so I might have to give it a download.

Skywatcher 07-26-2019 12:07 PM

How is Baba made?

:d&r:

Atamasama 07-26-2019 02:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Maserschmidt (Post 21771373)
I downloaded a version for iPad, but so far it just appears to be a maze-style game, no words. Did I get scammed?

ETa: Yep, looks like a scam....

Sucker is You :p

Maserschmidt 07-27-2019 09:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Atamasama (Post 21772104)
Sucker is You :p

:mad::(

Kobal2 07-27-2019 11:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skywatcher (Post 21771756)
How is Baba made?

:d&r:


Vagina IS Win. Penis IS Float AND You.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Mithras
One point that isn't that obvious from the description: it sounds a lot more open than it is. What I mean is, one might think that there would be many ways to rearrange the words to solve a puzzle. But usually beyond the intro levels, there's probably only one solution.


Agreed from what I've seen (don't own the game but watched a couple infuriating Let's Plays. Infuriating because "DUDE YOU HAD THE... Why are you doing this ?! It was so blindingly obvious ! Go back two moves, don't.. AAAAGH"), it's just that some of these solutions really turn your noggin' around. As well I really like the fact that often puzzle 2 is just puzzle 1 with one or two elements slightly tweaked at most... which nevertheless requires a totally different solution.

Johnny Bravo 07-27-2019 11:14 AM

I also watched a video of this game and came to two conclusions.

1) Wow. What a neat concept for a game. Well done, game!
2) I will never ever play it because it will make my eyeballs bleed in impotent frustration.

gonzoron 07-31-2019 01:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Inner Stickler (Post 21771356)
I love it because it's really a great puzzle solving game.

I hate it because it constantly reveals how thick I am.

This.

I have it on the Switch, I love the concept with all my heart. It's the most original video game I've seen since.... I don't know, pong? Never seen anything like it. Adventures of Lolo meets Nomic.

I also love that it's not linear and if you get stuck on one puzzle, you can usually try a different route and do a different puzzle.

I just hate that sometimes I sit there for an hour going, "how the hell am I supposed to push this @#*$#@$* rock over there when skull is defeat!"

glowacks 08-01-2019 08:35 PM

I saw this get good reviews on Metacritic while searching for my most recent Switch addition, but eventually got Into the Breach. I'll definitely get it once I'm through playing all the other games I've bought and not played now that I've bought enough games for the Switch to have justified purchasing it. The concept is brilliant.

enalzi 08-02-2019 10:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sohvan (Post 21771693)
It's a sign of a good puzzle game when figuring it out makes you think "how could I have possibly missed that" instead of "How was I supposed to know that?"

Got it for Switch last night. This was me after only the seventh level:
SPOILER:
Took me ages to figure out I could use "IS" twice by having a message go both vertical and horizontal

Shoeless 08-04-2019 02:03 PM

Boy does this game make me feel stupid. 150 levels, sohvan? I've barely gotten through 20. And I'm stuck at the moment, two different puzzles I can't figure out and nowhere else to go. This game needs a hint book!

(No it doesn't, because then I'd just be checking it constantly instead of trying to figure it out.)

glowacks 08-07-2019 06:18 PM

I broke down and bought it. It gets hard fast, definitely.

The rules are a bit quirky in some places. For example, there's the block "Text" which the game uses to make "Text is Defeat", but you don't die on touching text because you always push text, and "Defeat" only triggers when you're on the same square. How Hot, Melt, Sink, and Float work are a little strange, particularly Float.

One thing that's made me able to get through some levels is trying to parse out why some of the rules you can't change are there. I think so far there's always a good reason for every single rule. Maybe as you go along he'll throw ones in that are entirely irrelevant just to throw people off.

ebb 08-08-2019 10:54 AM

This is a fascinating game. I picked it up after reading this thread and have been playing with it for a day or so. I'm a fan of games of this sort, but some of the levels really have had me stumped. It's very much an "aha!" game, where once you get the key insight for the level you can normally work out the rest easily. What's so impressive about it is that there are so many completely different "aha!" moments arising from such a relatively simple set of rules.

Those without self-control should skip this, but there's a nice "spoiler-free" hint site that I've referred to once or twice. It doesn't give the solutions, but it does a good job of nudging you in the right direction:



One problem I have with games like this, and I think this one is no exception, is that in the process of going through the levels you're building up the skills and the mental language to tackle more difficult problems. That's absolutely what you want to make a great game. But for me, if I step away from it for a period of time, could even be a few hours, I tend to have that knowledge erode. I've been stuck at least once because I didn't remember a very basic thing from ten levels earlier, which I don't think was really supposed to be part of the puzzle, it was a just a symptom of not being able to hold everything in my head at once for a really long period of time.

I had a very similar experience with The Witness -- it was great working out the tricks, but unless you can access them all when you need them it can be frustrating. I'm fully willing to believe this is more of a "me" problem than a general one.

Atamasama 08-08-2019 11:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ebb (Post 21794668)
One problem I have with games like this, and I think this one is no exception, is that in the process of going through the levels you're building up the skills and the mental language to tackle more difficult problems. That's absolutely what you want to make a great game. But for me, if I step away from it for a period of time, could even be a few hours, I tend to have that knowledge erode. I've been stuck at least once because I didn't remember a very basic thing from ten levels earlier, which I don't think was really supposed to be part of the puzzle, it was a just a symptom of not being able to hold everything in my head at once for a really long period of time.

I had a very similar experience with The Witness -- it was great working out the tricks, but unless you can access them all when you need them it can be frustrating. I'm fully willing to believe this is more of a "me" problem than a general one.

I have that problem with any game that has complex or unusual rules (or control schemes).

In my case, it seems like every time I play Elite: Dangerous, I havenít played in months and need to redo the tutorials.

I started playing Murdered: Soul Suspect again after a long hiatus. I am a bit lost. Iím in the middle of multiple investigations and I have no idea where to go next with them. And I spent a lot of time getting comfortable with all the ghost powers, juggling the real world and spirit world, handling violent spirits, etc. It almost feels like Iím trying to play someone elseís game who is near the end.

I donít think itís you, I think there are certain games you almost need to binge to get through. You can pick up a bike and ride it again naturally, you might not be able to do that with a fighter jet.

Maserschmidt 08-10-2019 10:37 PM

This game is fun, but every time I clear level I realize how easy it was, and then when I get to the next level, I discover again how stupid I am.

iamthewalrus(:3= 08-14-2019 12:23 PM

I love this game. I've finished... I don't know, half the levels or so, and some of them are wicked hard.

Among my favorite discoveries:

X IS Y AND Z lets you generate duplicate objects.
X HAS X gives you an indestructible X that can plow through things.

EMPTY as a noun is mind-bending. I have solved very few of those levels.

One of my favorite things about it is that you'll beat a level and then there will be a bonus level that differs in just a single grid location, but you have to beat it an entirely different way. Extremely clever level design.

glowacks 08-14-2019 11:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iamthewalrus(:3= (Post 21805926)

X HAS X gives you an indestructible X that can plow through things.

This was one of my favorite discoveries to make. It's the kind of thing you don't think about as being possible until you realize that it is, and it's exactly what you need.

sohvan 08-15-2019 08:56 AM

The game is a lot longer than I expected, and I'm surprised that the puzzle quality has stayed high. If anything it has saved some of the more clever and mind blowing surprises deep in the game.

I also had issues with wrapping my head around the keyword EMPTY. I completed the space area eventually, but I had to use a lot more trial and error as it was sometimes hard to predict the consequences of rules.

I'll spoiler tag my favourite discovery as it's a nice surprise relatively deep in the game.
SPOILER:
Favourite discovery was solving the world map

DKW 08-20-2019 03:16 AM

Well, if nothing else, there's this to make you all feel a little better. :) Thoughts, no particular order:

If you get this thinking you can do all kinds of weird things or get really creative with solutions (I thought that way for a while), it's going to be a massive disappointment. Other than a few really easy levels, each level in the game is geared toward one and only one solution. In fact, some levels with unexpected alternate solutions were later modified to take them out. There are certain rules that can't be changed because they're either in corners or blocked off, and as the game progresses more and more of them become inviolable. For total control and creativity, Minecraft is still the champ. (Creative mode, I mean, as the only thing Survival is a champ of is Neverending Death By Witch, but that's another thread.)

The singular solutions are going to result in frustration, mainly because a lot of things that look like they'd work at first glance have a rule or property that makes them impossible. "X is X" is a prime example of this.

There aren't any dirty tricks, at least not that I found. If you find yourself going "Man, why didn't I think of that?" it's probably because you didn't consider every possibility or didn't fully understand how a rule or property worked. It pays to work out the solution one step at a time rather than waiting for a big eureka moment.

It does get super hard, and moreover, it gets super complicated. Kudos to whoever had the patience to make these and make sure that there were actual solutions. Definitely not for the easily frustrated (like me).

Given that Baba (or whatever else is "You" at the moment) can only push, not pull, this may be a concern to players who played things like Sokoban in the past and were really bad at it (like me). From what I've seen, this isn't any to be worried about. There are situations where you don't want to push an object a certain way or the way is blocked, but there aren't extremely complex labyrinths that Sokoban is infamous for. Mostly you need to understand where things go and how to get them there.

You can't go in with pretensions. What a certain object is and does is dictated solely by what it "Is" at the moment. Doors can open walls, lava can be pushed, grass can be impassible, and water can float in midair. Other than the fixed rules, anything is possible.

Verdict? It looks pretty, but I'm going to wait until somewhere has all the solutions before I consider buying it. (That no such place exists yet tells me that this one's a long haul.) There's just too much bang-head-into-desk potential here. This is one of those games where I'd have an absolute blast with a hacked version, but that's probably years off, if it ever happens.


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