There are a few things that can happen to a young lad that make you wonder what on earth is going on, one of them is your father vanishing overnight. You would think that would cause no small amount of therapy and a potential clocktower sniper scenario in later life. Suddenly being able to walk on light and being able to communicate with otherworldly beings in a shadow world that runs parallel to your own, now that’s going to have your normal kid singing helter skelter and planning his own little commune in the country surrounded by the “family”.
In Blink nextReality games have our hero going through exactly this scenario (minus the dodgy Beatles cover). Dad goes AWOL and suddenly an ancient being in the form of a blue flame with eyes is talking to our plucky hero and coercing him into wandering off to find the pater familias. When our friendly cerulean burny thing closes his eyes, your fellow-my-lad finds himself in a parallel world where light can be walked on and seemingly solid things are a mere transparency that he can flit through like they were morning mist. A problem when you realise that’s also true of the floor and when he opens his eyes again you can find yourself stuck in a wall suffocating. Thankfully, safety is but a button press away and it’s this mechanic that is the central pivot of the game.
Hopping from one world to the other and traversing the hand drawn two dimensional world of Blink has you wandering through floating cities, ancient ruins, archaeological excavations and open spaces in search of dear old dad and yet, never really explains why. I felt like that annoying three year old you want to gag with gaffer tape. “Go here” says the game “Why?” I asked, only to get a metaphorical “because”. Not that this detracts from the story of the game in any major way it’s just that there are questions unanswered, but such is life.
The ethereal soundtrack, detailed graphics and clever conceit of the central mechanic all add up to a lovely little indie game that made me want to revisit Zzub and Monty Mole so I can certainly forgive a somewhat gappy plot. Once you get the hang of moving and holding the blink button at the same time the game becomes simple enough for the novice, but gets really fiendish later on as you are flipping switches, hopping between realms, and jumping about all over the shop on beams of light.
Blink is one of those little indie games that stands head and maybe not quite both shoulders above the crowd, but certainly far enough to be worth the purchase price. Do yourself a favour and spend some time walking on sunshine, or spotlight shine as the case may be.
Blink (Reviewed on Steam)
This game is good, with a few negatives.
Echoes of the great 8 and 16 bit platformers of yore abound in this innovative and quirky indie game that starts with a weird premise and keeps building on it in style.