Blind puts you in the shoes of Jean as you play through, as the developers call it, a ‘narrative-driven psychological adventure’. The story starts with Jean and her brother driving in a terrible storm which inevitably ends in a crash. You wake in a mysterious mansion without your sight, a fragmented memory and the company of a creepy character known as the Warden and this is where the game begins.
Now I won’t touch on the story too much during this review as I felt experiencing the story unfold as you play through this game is a big part of Blind. The need to escape the mansion becomes more powerful as more of the story unfolds with each puzzle solved. You start to feel for Jean and her circumstances and the concept of being Blind fits really well into the narrative. However, the story unfolds as you try to help Jean escape this dark Mansion, be prepared for some ups, downs and twists as you dive deeper into the story of the broken family Jean is a part of.
I completed a single playthrough of Blind in around 4/5 hours and in this time did not achieve the complete a puzzle 1st-time trophy so I expect it could have been completed quicker. However, just as quick save & fast travel have become the norm in games I expect there may be multiple endings to this game plus there are a number of hidden trophies which may support this as well.
So how do you play a game in complete darkness? You make your way through this Mansion of rooms and puzzles with the aid of a cane that you can use to hit off objects and send out sound waves. These waves then give you a brief view of your surroundings and it comes down to you to decide what you need to do next and this is what Blind is all about. I played the game with two move controllers which add to the feeling of using the cane and throwing objects to create sound waves further away.
Progression through this game relies on you solving puzzles that unlock the next room. The puzzles in this game vary from simply noticing an off-centre picture frame that unlocks a draw when corrected for a door key to the more complicated where you need to take clues from dictaphone recordings and perform actions in that room. The puzzles may become more complex as you play and despite the added darkness the game is friendly in directing you to at least the start of a puzzle. I believe the true puzzle solving fans out there will thoroughly enjoy how Blind presents itself.
There were times where understanding what I needed to do was not instantly obvious and took a little extra exploration to discover. It never felt like I was completely lost though as the level design directs your attention to puzzle areas and the odd dialogue hint ensured I got there in the end. A neat little bit of support the game offers is in the pause menu where you can reset important items. I had to use this a few times as I found myself getting carried away with the typical activity of throwing items in VR, which is more common in Blind as you use their sound waves. However, it did act as a hint to what items I may need to use to solve a puzzle as it would only reset key items.
Despite the restrictions on the VR display, the game looks very nice. How you see the world through the sound waves never gets old. As you move through the Mansion and the environments change, I found myself wanting to walk around and uncover every corner of the game. The little details on the walls, doors and books around the game is impressive considering the game is in complete darkness (not sure if I have mentioned that yet).
I would recommend Blind for anyone looking for a quick puzzle solving game that comes with a great narrative full of thought-provoking moments. The mechanics of the game with the move controllers are simple enough with the typical odd frustration from tracking issues but apart from that, it was a smooth playthrough.
I thoroughly enjoyed my playthrough of Blind. Experiencing the story unfolding as I solved each puzzle combined to make this a game I would recommend. A quick VR experience that offers a lot for what might be a short game.
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for review*