Blind Review

Blind throws you into a mysterious mansion with a strange character directing you, puzzles to solve and a plot to unravel.  With no eye sight, you must use thrown objects and your white cane to cause noise that illuminates the surrounding area.  With complex puzzles, an eerie plot and a decent amount of game play, Blind will keep you at the edge of your seat and possibly appreciate your sense of sight more than you ever have. 

Quick Notes
Genre: Puzzle Game
Controller: Dual Shock or Move Controllers
Length: 4-6 hours
Price: $24.99
PlayPSVR Combined Score: 6.5

Adam’s Review:

Since Alex and I are both reviewing this I am going to try to make it short and sweet.  Blind is a game with an awesome idea, but poor execution.  I was an absolute fanboy for Stifled which uses some of the same concepts that Blind uses, but I was spoiled by Stifled's execution, use of real player audio and intense suspense.  I believed Blind to be in the same category but instead what I delved into were complicated puzzles, a good story line and overall a rather boring experience.  

So let's begin with the idea of the game.  You play as Jean, a girl who you find out is driving during a rain storm one late night with her brother in the passenger seat.  There is an accident and you wake up in a weird mansion where you are blind and met by a strange person with a pretty sweet mask.  The only method of sight is to either tap your stick on the ground or throw objects that make audio noise in the game which lights up the surrounding area.  It is your goal to find your brother, get out of the house and solve puzzles along the way.  

I will not divulge too much, but the plot is actually pretty good.  I enjoyed the twisting story and although I had my suspicions on what was going on and what might happened, it always kept me guessing.  The presentation of the plot is interesting with snippets of interacting holograms, 2D scenes and various objects that release audio of various characters.  The plot is easily the best part of the game and will keep you wanting to go forward.  There was one part near the end I thought was completely unnecessary and really broke up the flow for me, but without giving away important details I can't go into it.  

The next thing is the puzzles.  For a puzzle heavy game there weren't really that many puzzles, and the puzzles that it did have were very confusing and very unsatisfying.  Many of them you could just guess your way through and some only seemed to work at random.  There were many puzzles that I was just baffled on what to do and with no hints you just walk around for like 20 minutes until you just happen to guess what you should do.  It is very disappointing and although this is a puzzle game, it is one of the more disappointing ones in this regard. 

Finally, I want to address that I found the game to be rather boring.  Yeah, the plot was good, but if you want an amazing plot read a freaking book or watch a movie.  Its the same price and wont waste as much of your time.  You walk slower than a fly on a flytrap sucking on your toe which is excruciating because you will be walking endlessly trying to figure out what to do and where to go.  Seriously, add a freaking run button guys.  As I was nearing the end of the game I didn't want to stop.  Not because I wanted to know the ending, but I just wanted it to end.  

Adam's Score: 5.5/10

Alex’s Review

I can appreciate Adam's perspective to a degree. If you're a person looking for a thrilling experience, clever puzzles, or action oriented gameplay, look elsewhere. However, if you're a person who values video games as a storytelling medium, then this might be worth a look.  

I say I appreciate Adam's view, because I was minutes away from abandoning "Blind" entirely.  In my first hour of gameplay, the controls felt stiff and confusing, the puzzles seemed broken, and at one point, I began a previously saved game, only for my character to spawn in what was an empty environment, unresponsive to any of the tapping mechanic required to "see" in the game.  While I hadn't made much progress, I did have to repeat the first 30 minutes or so of the game

But I decompressed after that bad initial experience. I came back, had someone explain the solution of the seemingly broken puzzle to me, and then continued progressing through the game.  And I could not stop playing until I finished.  The echolocation mechanic is beautifully executed, with an almost fragrant flair as the local environment reveals itself.  For a game about visual impairment, the visuals in the game are deftly rendered with a memorable style.

The combination of memorable style and interesting and twisting story of familial drama is what this game is all about. While "Blind" attempts to be a puzzler, I feel like the game is held back by its desire to add these snippets of gameplay.  While some puzzles were too obvious to be enjoyable, other puzzles had more clever solutions that were ruined in broken execution.  There were multiple times where I knew all the elements of a puzzle's solution, but simply couldn't reach a "solution" state of the puzzle due to seemingly broken puzzle mechanics. 

I can't help but feel like the game would be a lot more enjoyable if it had taken the route of "walking simulator," and simply allowed me to explore the mansion gradually, feeling around for clues and keys that lead me to the next set of rooms.  I found myself wanting to do nothing else but explore the environment and find out more about the family and story without worrying about the puzzles impeding my progress.

While Adam did a serviceable job of setting up the game's story, I feel like he doesn't give the game enough credit for its approach to storytelling. Books and movies tell stories very well, but virtual reality is breaking new ground on the storytelling front, and the experience of the story in Blind is much more enjoyable because it is experienced in virtual reality.

In the end, Blind is a really good story held back by puzzles that are average at best, but sometimes downright broken.  If you can get past the rough bits, and enjoy "Blind" for what it is, you'll find a unique experience that leaves a lasting impression in the end.

Alex's Score: 7.5 /10

PlayPSVR Combined Score: 6.5/10

Adam Stewartblind, psvr, vr, reviewComment