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The RPS Advent Calendar 2023, December 14th

Walled in

A close up of Horace the Endless Bear looking at a big pile of presents with his name on, next to a plate of cookies with a glass of milk. It's the 2023 RPS Advent Calendar!
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun

We're over halfway through this year's RPS Advent Calendar now, and spoilers, but you can't leave now without seeing it through to the end. We've walled up the Treehouse and everything so you can't escape.

But wait, maybe there is a way out, just like in our next entry, Babbdi!

Playing a trumpet in Brutalist city streets in a Babbdi screenshot.

Alice0: Babbdi is a great example of a type of game I adore: here's a strange place, now go explore and figure out what this game is and how its parts work and what you can even do, then wrap up and be done inside an hour. The strange place is a grim Brutalist walled city you are attempting to leave. This is a task you technically can complete in under 56 seconds. But why hurry when you can explore, meet people, complete little tasks, find secret places and hidden treasures, and play a trumpet?

The trumpet is one of many items you can find in Babbdi. Most are movement tools, and you can only hold one at a time, so it's a joy to figure them out and experiment as you explore. Ooh this baseball bat has kinda a rocket-jump! Ooh this torch will let me explore that dark hole I found. Ooh these climbing axes will let me scale anything! Babbdi wants you to enjoy not just discovering everything, but how you discover everything. Even when I found what was clearly the most powerful item of all, I soon dropped it to check out another tool. And then I found the trumpet. I don't know if the trumpet does anything. Well, I do know the trumpet does something: you can click to honk it and change pitch by looking up and down. Whether this tootling has any effect on the world or its residents, I couldn't tell you, but I can say for certain that it gave me a powerful new movement option, the ability to make silly noises.

It's not a cheery place. I wouldn't want to live there. But I enjoyed bumbling around, meeting everyone, finding secrets, then making my escape. In under an hour. Under an hour! I'd pay good money for more games to be confidently short and hell, Babbdi is free.

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The all-seeing eye of Rock, Paper, Shotgun, the voice of many-as-one.