Developed By : Radoslaw Felich
Published By : Ultimate Games
Category : Platformer
Release Date : Nov 08, 2019
Precision platformers like Super Meat Boy and Celeste manage to balance frustration and fun, offering up tough challenges that feel rewarding to overcome. Blindy certainly nails the frustrating part thanks to its main gimmick, but there’s very little fun to be had here.
True to its name, the main character in Blindy cannot see, and must instead rely on trial and error to make his way through single screen platforming gauntlets. For the player, this means that you can only see whatever your character touches, and only for a few seconds. When he dies, the body and blood left behind can be used to tell where platforms and traps are, though even those fade away quickly. At first, it’s not too hard to make your way through each level. There are only a few traps, and some can easily be avoided by accident. Things quickly become more difficult however, as more new obstacles are introduced.
Aside from simple spikes and buzzsaws, there are jump pads that can launch you into traps, gates which must be opened using a switch and portals that transfer you to another part of the screen. None of these are overly complicated on their own, and in a normal game most of the levels would be incredibly easy. Not being able to see most of the screen is where the real ‘challenge’ comes from, testing your patience instead of your skill.
Blindy’s problem is not how hard it is, since even with the blindness gimmick there are other tougher games that you can play. Its problem is that playing through a level is never interesting, as each one boils down to tedious trial and error. With each level being a single screen, there’s only so much that can be done to change things up. So instead of having to do tricky jumps or chain multiple moves in succession, it’s a case of moving along until you die, remembering where you died, and trying again until you succeed.
Trial and error is a part of many games in this genre, but Blindy lacks fluid movement, an interesting moveset or any real hook to keep you coming back for more. The main character can only walk, jump and interact with the aforementioned switches. Movement feels very sluggish overall, mainly because of the floaty jump that always goes the same height regardless of how long you hold the jump button.
Regardless of which of the game’s four modes you pick, you’re still going to be playing through the same dull levels, with the same music playing, and the same ugly visuals briefly popping up on the screen. Some sort of change to the theme of each level would have at least made it seem less repetitive. There’s only so long you can put up with a single music track before you mute the game.
There isn’t even any new content for the Switch version, even though they’re charging four times the price of the mobile release. In fact, aside from the removal of touch controls there isn’t anything actually different about this version. The graphics, which looked poor on smaller mobile screens, are even worse when viewed through the Switch’s screen or through a TV.
The Switch store page description for Blindy reads: “Take 2D platformer, add some souls-like difficulty, get rid of all useless stuff and turn lights off – that’s Blindy.” Poor grammar aside, only half of this is actually a true representation of the game. 2D platformer? Yup. The lights are turned off? Also correct. But in the process of making a game without “useless stuff” and with a “souls-like” level of difficulty, the developer has taken away any sort of enjoyment that could have been found playing Blindy.
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*The Switch Effect was provided a code for this game*