Who knew a blank, black screen could be so entertaining? “Blindscape”, by creator Gavin Brown, is an iOS and Android game where players use their sense of hearing, not their vision, to play (http://www.blindscapegame.com).
The game takes place in a futuristic police state ruled by The Tribunal. You, the player, must navigate blindly to escape the apartment where you are being kept. Basically, you navigate through a blind maze, using sound as a guide. The screen is blank and black, as if you were truly blind.
This game must be played with earphones. In order to navigate the blank screen, the player follows sounds to the left or right in order to reach various destinations. You’ll also have to tap the screen to find things such as doorknobs and swipe the screen to lift or propel objects. When you tap or swipe incorrectly, the narrator will react to that with words or exclamations. The game will provide written hints, if you need them. These appear as white words on the black screen.
I think the concept is really genius – I’ve never played a game like this before. I’ve never played an app game/video game where I had to rely on my sense of hearing only. It’s like a sophisticated Marco Polo, but for video and app gamers.
The compelling narration is awesome. The narrator is the player’s inner monologue. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, so suffice it to say that through the narrator, the player learns why he is blind, what happened to his loved ones, and why he is desperate to escape from the apartment. It is a beautifully and artfully laid out story. The game is worth playing for the story-telling aspect alone.
I really loved this game. The only downside is that I wish it lasted longer and had other plot twists. The game lasts about 10 minutes. The player is seeking very specific objects at any given time, and does not encounter any twists. For example, on a screen where you seek a doorknob, there is only one doorknob, so it’s not like you might go through the wrong door and end up elsewhere. If there could be plot twists the game would be longer and the fun would last. All in all, however, playing games is about having experiences, and this game definitely created one. I hope updates are made to lengthen this game so I can play it again.
Bonus: The game is free, but you can purchase the Blindscape Theme on iTunes for 99 cents, if you’re like me and prone to the pestilence known as earworms.
Other things I loved about this game include that there are no interruptions: there are no in-app purchases, upgrades, harassment to share on social media, etc. You can just sit down and play, like we did when we were kids.