Baobab’s Mausoleum Ep 3: Un Pato en Muertoburgo (Switch): COMPLETED!

It was a little while back I played the first two games back to back, so I was expecting the story to make little sense. But then I remembered – the story makes little sense anyway.

This final game in the series unfortunately ditches the (mostly) one continuous game style of the second game and returns to disjointed sections like the first game. To start with, the game is a bizarre full motion video title, before moving into the more “normal” 8-bit overhead view. This then passes through a 3D golf cart driving game, a sort of dungeon, a restricted view maze game, and – not far from the end – an into the screen cel shaded lightgun game (with no lightgun).

The plot doesn’t come together at any point, and although it’s fun to play it feels like a series of short minigames rather than the third chapter in an epic quest. You do find out, after the credits, who inhabitant 64 is though, and I was correct in who I thought it was.

It’s a quirky game series, and I’m glad I experienced it, but it’s terribly fragmented and unfocussed. Again, I wonder if much of that is down to the localisation. It’s difficult to tell if the strange conversational grammar is down to the translation or intentional characterisation

Baobab’s Mausoleum Episode 2: 1313 Barnabas Dead End Drive (Switch): COMPLETED!

Now this is better. Unlike the linear, disjointed approach of the first game, Episode 2 of Baobab’s Mausoleum works much better. You have a whole town to explore, and a day/night cycle (real-time, or skip by sleeping) to contend with. There are still TV and game references, and it’s still very weird, but it makes – in the context of the weird – much more sense.

A girl goes missing and you have to find her. Only to do that, you have to do something else. Only to do that, you have to do something else. And so on.

Imagine a more passive Link’s Awakening (which is referenced), with very little combat but lots of talking and some puzzles and lots of getting item A to get item B. And some fishing.

It’s very shallow (which I don’t mean in a negative way), funny in an absurdist sense, and a lot better than Episode 1.

Baobab’s Mausoleum Episode 1: Ovnifagos Don’t Eat Flamingos (Switch): COMPLETED!

A while back, I played the demo of this. Although short, it looked like it the full game was going to be a viewed from above puzzle adventure game with Twin Peaks overtones. And, when it came to playing the full game, for a while that was the case. Your basic zombie-lookin aubergine FBI agent’s car breaks down outside a mysterious town that only appears once every 25 years, and he needs to find a phone and get on his way.

Only that premise is discarded very early on as the plot veers all over the place. Characters you know are somehow also in the town. Nobody mentions the 25 year thing. You have to play hide and seek with beavers in a first person section for… some reason. A guy in a cinema gives you a ticket so you can get into the cinema in order to get a ticket to give to the guy so he can get in the cinema. What? Sometimes you turn into a guy who is a tiny moon for a bit, but it’s not explained why. Frankly, nothing makes sense.

I’m all for weird for the sake of weird, but at least string it together. BME1ODEF is missing what fellow weird games Weird Dreams on the Amiga and Switch on the MegaCD had – a coherence to the random madness. Perhaps some of the cause of this was the translation to English from what I assume is the dev’s native Spanish, and some explanation was lost.

I don’t think I enjoyed playing it and I think that’s because I wasn’t sure why I was playing it. There’s no mechanical or gameplay reason why it’s bad, and it isn’t bad really, it’s just too strange. That said, I’m going to play the sequel as I’ve already bought it.