Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Baby's Day Never Got Out

Some weird stuff just can't be found in stores.  For example, I found this. . . thing while browsing a Genesis rom set.  Now, I don't really remember the Baby's Day Out other than the name, but apparently it was a movie that bombed horribly and spawned a game that was mercifully canceled.  The first name I noticed when starting the game up was Hi Tech Expressions, the publisher that inflicted that Beethoven game upon the world, but it was actually developed by a studio called Designer Software, who's only release was some Mickey Mouse game.

Baby's Day Out is a really strange game, but first I would like to go over some of the even stranger trivia related to the movie.  According to IMDB, the stunts for the baby in the film were performed by two entities.  One was the actor Verne Troyer, better known as Mini-Me, which must be quite embarrassing, and the other was a robot.  I find robot babies terrifying.  Even though the movie did just about as awful a movie can do in the US, for some reason it was really popular in India, to the point where it was remade twice.  The first, Sisindra, was a basic Indian remake that retained the same basic plot but added important things such as singing and dancing.  Even more baffling is a later remake titled James Bond, which has absolutely no connection to 007.

Before completely condemning this game I feel like I should mention that it appears to have been developed by a team of about five people, which is kind of impressive.  Also, I can't imagine that anybody would really want to work on a game based on this movie, so I have a certain degree of sympathy for its creators.  Still, it isn't a fun game and I'm quite relieved that it wasn't released to stores where unsuspecting children could be harmed by it.  Initially I thought it would be a simple platformer, like every other 16-bit movie tie-in, but it is actually something like Lemmings, if there was only one lemming, and it was a baby.

That's one suicidal baby.
Graphically, the game is kind of horrifying, starting out by showing some digitized guys kidnapping the titular baby.  The whole thing looks trippy and weird.  The player controls an angel or something, and it flies around possessing objects that can interact with the baby.  Even though the player controls some sort of angel thing, and even though it can detach its eyeballs and look anywhere in a level, it can't go through  floors or walls, so getting around is complicated by the need to possess shoes in order to climb a ladder.  The movement feels kind of bad, with an odd sense of momentum where it takes a bit to start moving, then the character speeds up, then it is difficult to stop.

Is that a skull?
The goal of each level is to lead the baby to a goal point, which is blocked by many obstacles.  The baby will just continuously crawl until it hits a wall, and then it turns around.  There are various blocks to modify the baby's route, such as ones that block its path or make it climb ladders.  There are also keys scattered throughout the level that are used to open various gates.  For some reason there are arbitrary time limits set on the levels, so taking too long means doing the level over again.  There are unlimited continues, so I'm not really sure what the point of this dick move is. 

Sorry Jimmy Huey, I'm kind of calling you out on this.
Not enough things in the game kill the baby.  For some reasons it is immune to long falls, which seems like a dangerous lesson to teach any older siblings out there.  Also, it can't be shot.  I've tried.  I didn't let it happen while playing, but there are hilariously not-to-scale enemies scattered around some levels, and I imagine that letting the baby run into them would lead to a fail state.  Baby's Day Out may be a disaster that was rightfully canceled, but at least some people ripped a couple of betas and put them online so everyone can experience the bizarre creation.

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