Save Baby James is a video game made by Mat Washburn of SHAPE SIGHT and SOUND. Available on Android and iOS as a free, ad-supported version and as an ad-free version for a dollar, you’re already headed in the right direction with either choice. Baby James does the same, as he heads in a direction from the moment you start the tutorial. The gameplay of Save Baby James is easy to grasp. The kid continually proceeds through dangerous territory and needs to make it out safely because, well, he’s a baby. It’s up to you, with your all-powerful digits, to manipulate each level by tapping at anything that will prevent Baby James from reaching the finish. Baby James strolls through a zoo, which if I may say is quite an elaborate and a dangerous zoo, and encounters plenty of animals and obstacles along the way. See an alligator ahead? As this neglected baby approaches – flick that gator with your finger! Is your path blocked due to a box, presumably left by an absent-minded zoo employee? Break it with your booger picker! Is a penguin toward James on an icy floor? Seriously – where is a zoo employee? There’s a baby in the zoo in freezing temperatures! Anyway, poke that polar bear with your pointer and get James outta there!
Save Baby James is one of those core gaming experiences that will make you want to replay a level to improve your standings just the same as you want to proceed to the next for more. Every time I jumped into a new level I felt that anticipation of wondering what is next, and always pointed the blame at myself if I ever goofed along the way. The developer did a fine job with the level design to keep the player on their toes – or rather, their fingers – while they babyproof the path ahead. As you are in a zoo, expect to encounter a variety of animals. They have their own reactions to being tapped, which in one way or another either hinder or assists Baby James as he strolls along. The level variety does also get an added…touch, by occasionally breaking up the flow. The first time I was told I was racing a demonic baby in a carriage I wondered where his demonic parents were, but once he beat me I returned with the desire to make that infant eat my diaper dust. Then it was on to another area of the zoo. Alright, who covers an exhibit floor with spikes? This is clearly not a well-regulated facility.
Dozens of levels bring plenty of value, each with stars to attain. Cash in the stars found throughout each level for fun costumes that put Baby James on a tractor or a dragon, because if he’s already gone this long in a zoo he might as well upgrade that stroller. Earn red stars by completing levels with full health and unlock abilities and music. All the while you get to enjoy some pretty sweet music, that perfectly compliments the art style. The sound effects are fun, with Baby James squealing “Ouchie!” when he loses his last pacifier, but the soundtrack is secretly the grease in the wheels that keeps me moving along through the game. I chose to spend some of my red stars on unlocking music that is now playing as I write this review.
Want some expert tips? First, don’t use your fingers to play. Use your thumbs. I mentioned fingers in the article for the alliteration. And because you will have two thumbs at the ready, you’re going to want to pay close attention. They might partially cover a chasing cheetah, or a hidden star. As you look ahead with that keen eye, consider timing. Maybe it’s good to let poor Baby James stay still for a moment as you detonate that explosive container. Babies shouldn’t be near explosives, anyway. Though maybe, you’ll want to not shatter that giant ice cube ahead until Baby James approaches. Because as previously mentioned, this frigid climate is so cold, it might materialize again at the most inopportune time. Try to stay one baby’s first-step ahead of the game.
If you’re reading this review on either an Android or iPhone and haven’t left to your respective market, let me direct you below to where you can help a child escape a perilous zoo. Save Baby James needs your attention.
Download in the Google Play Store
Reviewed on iOS (iPhone 7) and Android (Galaxy S7) on 02FEB17.