“Sometimes the fog hides inside the forest, sometimes the forest hides inside the fog!” – Mehmet Murat Ildan
Spirits of Baciu is an enigmatic adventure following a mysterious cat-like spirit after he suddenly awakens in the dark forest of Baciu. Players must help him solve puzzles, meet other spirits and find his way through the woods.
Developer: Horns Level Up Games
Released: 10th November 2022
Available on: Steam
Engine: Construct 3
Spirits of Baciu is primarily a puzzle game and in order to find his way out of the forest the little spirit must complete tasks for various NPCs such as fetching some cave water or finding some decent bait. The challenges will test the player’s attention to detail with subtle visual and audio clues making it essential to take in the whole of each scene and interaction to prevent missing solutions. There are a variety of puzzle types, some of which can be quite tricky, but all of them are ultimately very satisfying.
The controls are straightforward, using the keyboard to move left and right including running, and a right mouse click to interact or talk. There is a fair amount of travelling back and forth required but the ability to run and the relatively small and very pretty environment mean that this is not too much of a chore.
Narrative and Styling
The narrative follows a little cat-like spirit lost in the Forest of Baciu. Only by helping a seemingly giant owl to find its feather will the owl help in return. However, there are hints of something more sinister going on and of course, being a prologue, this is just the beginning of a much bigger story.
The unique art style uses dark but somewhat warm colour palettes with a combination of cosy and moody lighting. The use of layers gives the visuals a real sense of depth, aided by a slight fuzziness around the edges of the screen and at the forefront giving the impression of peripherals being out of focus. The music is also quite mesmerising and ranges from slightly ethereal, gentle yet mysterious melodies to much more dramatic tracks that build tension and really help to build a sense of atmosphere. The soundtrack as a whole has a vaguely 80’s feel with synth and other digital sounds making it somewhat reminiscent of the music in Stranger Things.
Spirits of Baciu is a short game that can be played in under an hour. Despite this, it is a thoroughly engaging experience that has a lot to offer, from its original aesthetic, and beautiful sound design to the gratifyingly challenging puzzles and intriguing narrative it is sure to leave players wanting more. As a free game that requires very little time investment to enjoy it is very easy to recommend this game to anyone that likes a good puzzle and I eagerly await future instalments in this series!
You can also watch a full playthrough of Spirits of Baciu Prologue on our YouTube channel:
For more mysterious puzzle games, check out these reviews:
Altero – A Challenging and Atmospheric Puzzle Platformer – a pet shop after dark – A Unique Psychological Horror and Puzzle Game – Faded Stories: Greenberg – An Abstract Puzzle Adventure!